Apple's iPad has seen great success since it was launched, with Apple claiming sales of over 15 million units for the original iPad. So far, the iPad 2 looks on track to beat that figure. Demand has been high, while supply has been typically insufficient. Whether Apple has underestimated demand, or whether they are unable to manufacture as many devices as they could is unknown. Speculation is pointless for now, so we're aren't going to be guessing on stock levels.
Instead, we'll be focusing our energy to review the iPad 2, which feels remarkably more like an incremental upgrade to the already "magical" iPad than anything. In fact, it feels more like an "iPad 1.5" than a version 2.0 as it gets some improvements in the form of a new dual-core A5 processor, twice the RAM at 512MB, a thinner frame, better graphics performance and dual cameras. The iPad 2 is also now capable of outputting 1080p video to a TV via a separate HDMI connector, while the original iPad was only capable of 720p video output.
While the above may sound like a substantial upgrade, it's actually stuff that we would have expected in the first version, bar the new A5 processor and improved graphics. Then again, this is the usual life cycle that Apple uses for their products; upgrades that keep a product slightly fresher so that you keep buying. Of course for that to even work, you need a reasonably good initial product which they have pulled of with the iPad and earlier on with the original iPhone, despite their lack of features to make them a definitive leader in both concept and technical specifications. If only more vendors can figure out this magic balance to fatten their coffers.
With availability announced for the local Singapore market in April, the question on everyone's mind on reading this article is two-fold: firstly, if I already own an iPad, should I then upgrade? Secondly, if I don't already have an iPad, should I get the iPad 2 then? Let's take a stab at answering those questions then, shall we?