Did Apple miss the mark with iPad Air?

I’ve been working[1] on an iPad 2 for a little over 2 years now. As the iPad 3 and iPad 4 were announced, I saw each iteration improve, but never enough for me to plunk down my credit card. Just like before, the iPad Air is a little better than the iPad 4, not leaps and bounds better, but better. And there’s the rub, the iPad Air is better than the iPad 4, but did Apple really do enough with this realease? Here are some things I think Apple missed with the iPad Air.

  • Camera: As much as the tech community snickers at people taking pictures with their iPad, if it’s the only camera you got, then it’s better than nothing. I’ve captured plenty of family moments with my iPad because it’s what I had with me. The iPad Air is using the same 5MP camera as the iPad 3. Apple could have easily bumped this to an 8MP camera, like the one currently used on the iPhone 4s, and made their iPad Air montage a little more believable.
  • Touch ID: With the release of the iPhone 5s, it seemed a natural fit for Apple’s other flagship iOS device to have Touch ID. Security discussions aside, using Touch ID to unlock my phone is great. With one hand I can get into my phone, get to most of my common tasks, and then put it back into my pocket. Having Touch ID missing on the iPad Air feels like a gap in the evolution Apples has set for iOS devices. It also leaves a big question mark on how soon we’ll see a mid-cycle update to the iPad Air line.[2]
  • Storage: As more and more people are relying on the iPad as their primary device,[3] storage is becoming a premium on a full size iPad, even at 128GB. Not seeing a bump in storage seemed like the biggest miss of all. Dropbox and iCloud are heavy hitters in my day to day workflow, but sometimes the on device storage limits can be a real deal breaker when trying to get things done. Even Steve Wozniak stated his disappointment on Apple not increacing the storage capacity. If the Touch ID doesn’t cause a mid-cycle refresh, expanding the on device storage might.

Apple has always done magical math about their product designs against the profit margins they’ll garner.[4] This makes me wonder how soon these three points will be addressed by Apple? This fall I made the jump to an iPhone 5s from my previous iPhone 4. Why? I had finally seen enough evolution in the hardware specs to justify the upgrade. So beyond the form factor update, is there really enough to make the typical consumer excited about this upgrade? Or do we have to wait for the the iPad Air 2 to see some new innovation in the iPad line?

  1. I mean I use my iPad for writing, creating, task management… I use it to get work done. Ok, maybe some Angry Birds too.  ↩

  2. My guess… before WWDC 2014.  ↩

  3. Just ask Federico (@viticci) - Pythonista & Editorial.  ↩

  4. Hence the reason why the iPad 2 still kicking it on the product line up and the iPad 4 was put to pasture.  ↩