So for a day, the cat is now officially out of the bag.
We have seen what Apple has been working on to fight the Android 3.0 hype, where they listened to their users and especially devs and how far Apple is willing to drag the fight.
But what do this things mean to me, to you, to probably all developers working on iOS and Android?
First off I've to say that I am pretty happy with what we've seen.
The rumors previously indicated, that Apple might not upgrade the graphics chip in the iPad reasonably, after already the original iPad suffered reasonably from it on the gaming end, but the claims they put out indicated that they did not only upgrade the SGX535 to an SGX543 but even to an SGX543MP2 or MP4 gpu (as in Samsungs Enyxos 4210 also used in the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1), while at the same time keeping the screen resolution on the same 1024x768 level the previous iPad had, which would be massive leap ahead.
With power like that, the 2 tech demos Epic put on the AppStore (Citadel and Infinity Blade) will look like last generation games. Still good but they won't compare to the high profile games that we will likely see happening.
The first impact of the iPad 2 is pretty clear, with the additional power, the camera, Verizon, the same prices and battery lifetime as the original iPad andstarting on a massive collection of applications right from day 0 on all on native resolution we are talking about a power horse here which Motorola surely didn't want and expect to see that fast when they brought the Xoom to market.
I already considered the original iPad as a rather solid replacement for most tasks I had a netbook, but the new iPad 2 (as the Tegra 2 / Enyxos 4210 Android 3 tablets) make netbooks obsolete if you hook them up to bluetooth input devices at home.
The second impact the iPad 2 will have for us developers is that the competition on the Android side will not be able to get away with its dream pricing.
Yes we all know that Tegra 2 tablets are fast, but we have also seen their shocking, unreasonable prices. Prior to the iPad 2, they had room to say that it is for the sake of power as they were ahead of the iPad by a fair leap.
But now with the iPad 2 coming up in weeks (March 11th in US, 26 major countries planned for March 26th, I'm reasonable and expect them by April 9-16th ie 2-3 weeks later as on the original iPad), at the same price as the original iPad, this excuse will likely no longer work out.
This baby will force them to cut their margins and get their prices in line with the iPad prices or they will kick themself and even more so the chances for Android 3.0 out of the game for another 6+ months. With the Xoom prices we have seen we talk about price drops for Android 3 tablets in the range of 20-30% of their original target and initial release prices.