It Only Took Seven Months For Apple To Make Me Feel Like A Chump

It Only Took Seven Months For Apple To Make Me Feel Like A Chump

On March 7, Apple announced the iPad 3. “Look how shiny it is!” Apple’s executives preached to a crowd full of cheering fans and press. “Retina display! Brand new graphics! You want one!”

The pitch worked on me, and I bought one right away. Sure, it cost over $600, but between the spectacular resolution, the impressive graphical capabilities and the robust iPad-only app library, it seemed like a necessary trinket for gaming in 2012.

I don’t regret that decision. I’ve gotten a great deal of use out of Apple’s glossy tablet. I’ve spent a whole lot of time playing iOS games — Kingdom Rush, Final Fantasy Dimensions, and many, many more — and used the iPad as a more-than-adequate substitute for my laptop when travelling or covering press events.

But then. Surprise! Today, October 23, Apple revealed the iPad 4. “Look how shiny it is!” Apple’s executives preached to a crowd full of cheering fans and press. “New processing chip! Double the graphics power! You want one!”

Nowhere did Apple mention the iPad 3, the machine that was touted oh-so-passionately just seven months ago as the next big thing. Seven months ago. It’s like a Simpsons parody of how often companies release new iterations of their hardware.

Nobody expected this. We all expected the iPad Mini, maybe a new MacBook, but none of the rumor-mongers predicted a brand new iPad with improved processing speed and brand new graphics. There was no reason for anyone to not buy an iPad 3 last month, two weeks ago, or even yesterday — and in fact, a number of people noted to me on Twitter that they just bought the third-generation tablet.

To add insult to injury, Apple didn’t even mention the iPad 3, the machine that millions of people spent hundreds of dollars to buy just a few months ago. They swept it under the rug completely. It’s not even part of their current line-up:

Now sure, this new iPad won’t force me to get less enjoyment out of my current one. It won’t suddenly explode or subliminally compel me to go throw it in a trash bin. I’ll still have just as much fun playing games on my iPad 3 as I would on an iPad 4.

But my new iPad is now one half-step closer to obsolescence. In 2012, game developers are creating software only for iOS hardware that is one or two generations old: most games you’d want to play on your Apple tablet will only support the iPad 2 or higher. Now that there’s an iPad 4, we’re even closer to a point where developers are creating software that can only run on its A6 processor. It’s faster! It’s more powerful! Gotta have it!

Remember, this isn’t like upgrading a PC. As a closed system, the iPad can’t be upgraded or modified. People who bought the iPad 3 can’t spend $US150 to swap in new processors or beef up their graphics cards. We’re stuck with what we got. Our iPad 3s — released, let me again reiterate, in March 2012 — are now old news. And here I am still calling it “the new iPad.”

So if you dished out $500, $600 or $700 this year expecting to be able to show off the hottest new piece of hardware for at least a whole year, you’re out of luck. Apple claims that the iPad 4 is twice as powerful as the iPad 3. And god help you if you have an iPad 2 or — perish the thought — one of those useless original iPads (released, believe it or not, in April 2010).

Seems like I’m not the only one who feels this way. In a poll on Cult of Mac, some 1,500 people (so far) said they’re pissed that their iPad 3 is “now obsolete.”

I’ve never understood some folks’ fervent obsession with Apple, and I certainly don’t expect the iPad makers to look out for my or any customers’ interests. But I also don’t expect my ridiculously-expensive new hardware to feel stale after only half a year. How could I not feel like a chump?


  • Yeah, it was a dick move overall by Apple in that respect, and this is coming from a fanboy (go ahead, judge me). I suspect they wanted to update thei current products to include the Lightning connector, and they also hope a new iPad will kill any buzz the Surface has.

    • You seemed shocked apple made a Dick move?

      If anything its going to give people more reason to swing Microsofts way to the Surface, unless they are after the Formfactor of the Mini…

    • Yeah was a massive dick move. They should at least offer trade in value if you take your old ipad in store or something. Anything to offset their obvious money grabbing.

    • Wow. You all bought iPad 3’s 7 months ago and only now are you feeling like chumps? iPhone 4G anyone?

      Apples “closed” business model only works when there is no competition (“no competition”, read Nokias N60 and Winblows mobile).
      With Google and Samsung starting to offer a viable open source alternative to a rigid and inflexable interface, Apples time in the sun is just about over.

      Rule 1 has always been don’t get version. 1.0
      The Apple addendum may have to be when ever you buy your screwed.

      • Do you feel superior now? Do you want to gloat more? Is your ego sated? It’s my first real Apple purchase. My others have been phones on contracts. I spent 800+ on this iPad as a college tool. It’ll do its job but I think I will sell it and get an Android tablet, I prefer the Android environment a lot more personally. I find Apple extremely restrictive and I honestly haven’t found much I can do with it that I can’t do with Android? So back to Android I go.

  • despite the fact the steve jobs will be rolling over in his grave… i’m tempted to “upgrade” from my ipad 2 to the mini… looks nice

    • That’s exactly what I thought. Steve Jobs didn’t want 7″ tablets because he thought they were too small. The dude has been dead for a year and they’re already screwing around with what he’s built up.

      I’m starting to think that Apple will lose customers soon because they’re having to (See: willing and able) fork out $$$ for stuff that will be obsolete next week because Apple will release something new and exciting. Which really, it won’t be.

      • Why do people treat what Steve Jobs says as gospel? He argued against giving the iPod Windows compatibility.

        Quoted Text: “Screw it,” he said at one meeting where they showed him the analysis. “I’m sick of listening to you assholes. Go do whatever the hell you want.”

        If he had his way, he’d cut out 90% of the potential market. In turn, this would not have given Apple the impetus or capital to create the iPhone, or allow the Mac OS Renaissance. All of Apple’s current success stories; iTunes, Mac OSX, iOS, the iPhone, iPad, etc sprung from the the iPod. A device that would have been a beloved, niche but dead-in-the-water if he remained unchallenged.

        The comment about 7″ tablets requiring sandpaper to “file your fingers” was just corporate smacktalk. It was one company downplaying their competition. Thanks to the Samsung/Apple trial, we now know that behind the scenes, Job and Forstall exchanged emails agreeing that 7″ was a compelling form factor. Steve Jobs isn’t a deity, he was a businessman who wasn’t always right, so stop trying to shake the truth out of his biography like a Magic 8 Ball.

        • I’m in no way an Apple fanboy. I’m pretty sure the only Apple product I own is an iPod and it was given to me as a gift. I just figured that they’d stick with the model that seemed so successful for them.

          • They’re like any other company, they’d go after any unplundered market like a pig on a truffle. Apple is no more noble nor above this than any other company on the planet. If they figured they could move into 7″ tablets to appeal to the untapped low-end market, they’d do it,

  • As a rule, I don’t like Apple and their company philosophies. But this article is just whining for the sake of whining.

    The only differences between your 7 month old iPad and this newer iPad are 1. an improved CPU/GPU, and 2. the Lightning dock connector

    For the first point, next to no developer is going to make games or apps that are only usable on the newer iPad. You might miss out on 1 or 2 games at most.

    For the second point, that lightning dock connector has next to no accessories for it yet. That might change in the next few months, but for the meanwhile, you’re still better served by the 30-pin.

    This release is for people who only want to use the new connector. If you have an iPhone 5 and want to only need 1 cable, this is the iPad for you.

    For everyone else, you’re missing out on 1 or 2 games, maybe. Wait 6 months for the next iPad (at which point your will be over 12 months old), get that, and play those games.

    • Exactly!! Love my iPad 3.. have just got a few new games on it last night (Galaxy On Fire 2 HD, CSR Racing and some zombie shooter I can’t remember the name of now).. I also have the Air Supremacy one, Dungeon Hunters and a few others. I’m waiting patiently for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition as well as the new Infinity Blade (unfortunately delayed till next year now)..

      Plenty of games to play.. plenty of other content to use.. and as for the lightning connector… meh.. it does NOTHING different except allow the plug to be inserted bi-directionally.. big deal. My wife has the iPhone 5 and we’ve actually found the connector pulls out more easily.

      The new iPad is a very tiny incremental update and not worth getting hot and bothered about.

      This is going to definitely cause consumer uncertainty though. Will be interesting to see:

      1. The sales on the 4th Gen iPad (will they spike or just stay the same as they have been for the last 7 months). I predict they will stay the same.. people who were going to buy an iPad 3 will simply end up buying teh iPad 4.. but there won’t be a spike in sales.
      2. If they release a proper upgrade in March 2013 and the reaction that occurs at that launch. If they do release another in March 2013, I predict there will be a crash in sales of the product as people become even further disillusioned with Apple.

    • It isn’t always up to the developer though. XCode can be updated as well, which will prevent deployment to earlier models of iOS devices. Its been happening already to some students of mine. Its a very simple decision to deploy only to the relatively recent devices, as opposed to find work arounds to make the game backwards-compatible when you’re on a shoestring budget.

  • For this “refresh” they should have just added the lightning connector (which i assume was the main reason for the upgrade). That way people wouldnt have felt like chumps for buying, what they assumed, would have been a device that wouldnt have been updated until next year.

    It seems that Apple is really trying the patience of their customers, for reasons unknown to me.

  • If you buy a laptop with an i5 processor, and 6 months later they offer the same model with an i7, would you feel like a chump? My guess is no. Chill out. The 4th gen isn’t for anybody with a 3rd gen.

    • Difference bring is i5 or i7 will not effect what you can run on the machine (Within reason) where as tablet devices, changing the processor and specs will determine what it can run.

      • I don’t think there will be any difference (for a while) between what a 3rd and 4th generation iPad can do. It’s just a better excuse to drop support for the 2nd gen.

        • It is different though because of consumer expectation of Apple’s release schedule. This is not a laptop with an i5 process.. this is a proprietary (and premium) tablet and Apple have set certain standards and expectations in the market. They just changed the rules and the expectations of consumers now need to change in respect to this product line. This is not the same as the regular PC market.

          If Company X releases their new product (doesn’t eve have to be a tech product.. just a generic product) every year in March, then suddenly release their next product within the same year, do you not see the problem with this? It’s a psychological thing.

          • I can see why some people have a problem with it, but I don’t agree with it. I really feel that Apple have no intention for iPad 3 owners to upgrade.

            This is all about dramatically reducing the production of the internals for the 30-pin adapter. None of their top end products now use the 30-pin.

            This product is for Foxconn, not iPad 3 owners.

    • I guess the argument is that they won’t start phasing out i5-compatible software in favour of focusing on the i7.

      I understand the frustration and have an iPad 3 myself, but unlike some, I’m happy with how it performs. When it stops being updated in a few years time, I will jailbreak it.

      Also, as long as the iPad 2 is being sold, they will update the 3.

      • Yup. Also happy with mine..

        I don’t think there is as much public outcry as this and other articles might suggest.. the general feeling I am getting from friends and reponses to other articles is that it’s not that big of a deal.. just that people are questioning the reason behind the release and what this means for Apple’s release schedule moving forward.

    • Agreed, if this was any other company (hello Samsung!) there wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fever enduced feedback from users. Besides, all of this was to take away from the Windows 8 launch, to pull back the curtain on items that normally would have been announced next year just a little bit sooner to take the shine off Microsofts baby.

  • Now I know how android users feel. Buy a product and in 6 months there’s an updated version. (Galaxy S3 vs 4G version) 🙂

  • This is ridiculous, you sound like a child whining because someone has something better than you. I honestly can’t believe people feel they were swindled somehow?

    • I have an iPad 3 and I’m not really phased by the new revision. The processor bump will be completely unnoticeable to me and I have no lightning dock accessories so I don’t benefit on that front either. There’s no meaningful improvement, It’s not a slimmer, sexier device. I did however, get 7 months of use out of it, so that’s good.

      The people whining about how their iPads are ‘obsolete’ are basically spoilt Cartmans (Cartmen?) who want the new shiny toy for no other reason than it being new. The people who are willing to re-purchase one really need to rethink their life.

  • Apple has everyone’s content, they can’t just bail and leave hundreds perhaps thousands of dollars worth of content behind… I envisage Apple getting sued for content restriction once they pissoff too many fanboys… which is about now

  • Apple bashing seems to be all the rage now, when you’re on top the only way is down etc. But what are we really complaining about? A tech company has refreshed their line product line quicker than expected. Why is this a problem. We all know technology upgrades come thick and fast. Personally still very happy with iPad 2. If apple had said we’re no longer supporting iPad 3 you would be right to moan but as it is you’re just QQing

      • Im sorry, I only have first world issues because I live in a first world country. Deriding others as ‘making first world complaints’ is just as dickish as the things you guys are trying to accuse them of.

    • 5 days and 2 days.. uhm.. right.. Generally when people say “no one expected a new iPad within 7 months of release of the last one” they’re not talking about news within 5 days of the announcement.

  • As someone who has an iPad 2, I certainly have no intention (or financial ability) to replace it just yet. I’m happy with it.
    Although I happen to know 2 people who bought iPad 3’s just last week who might be a little upset that they weren’t told this new one was an option.

  • People when will you come to realise that iPads are not just tech anymore but a social statement. If you’re cool you have a new iPad. For those who care about their social image they will jump on the ‘screw iPad and apple’ bandwagon but will do so from their new iPad 4

    • I was under the impression that’s all they were, not as a portable as a phone, not as capable as a laptop. a few years on I still can’t see any practical reason to buy a tablet. Going overseas next month and have been doing extensive research on what portable device to buy to replace my aging laptop, and I just can’t rationally conclude a tablet is as good a choice as an ultrabook. the exception would possibly be a the surface pro, but it won’t be out in time, and even then you’re looking at a “possibly on par device.” sure I might use an iPad if it was lying around in the same way I’d drive an ariel atom if it was sitting in my driveway, but if I had the money to throw down on that for the hell of it, why not just get a Porsche.
      (car example on gaming site, potentially my bad)

  • Newsflash: Apple announces new updated iPad model, millions of iPad 3 owners suddenly find their devices have stopped working.

    Fortunately that isn’t going to happen, but from the tone of the article you would think it was.

    If tech consumers didn’t suffer from buyer’s remorse occasionally then we would all still be writing on stone tablets.

    7 months in this industry is a very long time.

  • We knew it was coming eventually but I don’t think any of us expected it this soon.

    So what, we’re going to get into March and suddenly we’ll have the iPad 4 with new A6x chip…followed by the iPad 5 in October 2013 with the A7 chip

    Granted I know this is nothing new, but I don’t we expected it to happen so soon…especially after the iPad 3

    My question is why the hell does Apple still have the iPad 2 in circulation…especially now with the Mini? You would think the Mini would phase out the iPad 2 considering its running the same specs…why not phase out the iPad 2?? Why does Apple need the iPad Mini, the iPad 2 and the iPad all in circulation…Aren’t they just confusing the market and cutting into their own market

    • Cutting into their own market? And thats a bad thing…. why?

      For the retPad – I wont even consider this a proper +S spec bump. This is akin to the mid cycle mac spec bumps which they hardly ever advertise. But just because theres a new iPad mini coming up….why not?

  • um… this is apple’s regular practise of planned obselescence… have you not seen the exact same thing with iphones?

    very very simple solution- don’t buy them, any of them, ever… easy

  • This is only an issue if you MUST have latest technology the second it’s released (Apple’s favourite kind of customer, because no matter how loud they whinge, they will buy it all anyway).

    Otherwise, if you like your iPad 3, just keep it and ignore the 4 for now… surely.

  • “Nobody expected this?” Really!?

    Have people not realised that Apple releases new versions their products year over year?
    iPads are released in March/April every year. iPhones are released September/October. Like goddamn clockwork!

    How have you not noticed this yet!?

  • Hey good luck trying to get an 3rd party ipad accessory using the old connector in 6 months, they are proprietary connector, Apple will stop letting 3rd parties make things with the old connector as of yesterday, and will only licence stuff with the new one. Welcome to upgrade hell, all of your stuff rendered useless because Apple has a new plug. (Which is in breach of a promise they made to the EUC to avoid prosecution for something, they promised to use industry standard connectors in future products.) And the 30 pin to lightning adaptor is crippled, no video or ipod out.

    • Riiight. Apple are suddenly going to get closed all those eBay stores selling cheap connectors/chargers that have been doing it for years. Also, how many accessories do you need? I still use my iPod (clickwheel circa 2004) cable as a spare to charge my new iPad.

  • How about you just sit there in anticipation of something better and never own anything because you’re afraid that something better will be around the corner.

  • Massive dick move by apple. Next purchase is definitely a surface. Got an iPad 2 and enjoy it but making their tech possibly be obsolete sooner, no thx

  • Harden up guys. I have an iPad 3 (as my first iPad), and I’ll live.

    It was an important move for Apple to make to compete – they don’t operate in a vacuum.

    They needed to get lightning connector standard across their range (iPad 2 will disappear real soon I bet), they needed to get more processing power behind the retina display – game devs have been struggling to push retina 3D with the A5X chip, and Apple needed to get a strong range out to hold steady against Windows 8 and Surface.

    New Android tablets come out every other week and you don’t see Android owners whinging about that.

  • I think you all missed the after event announcement by Apple: those who purchased an iPad within the last 30 days can swap it over for the new model. See announcements in 9to5Mac and AppleInsider.

  • A bit late to this kind of realizations. Everyone who’s not a totally mind-addled Apple fanboy awoke to the kind of hardware practices that Apple uses dogmatically, back when they released the first iPhone -basically a product in beta-testing- and then proceeded to replace it with the shinier, actually-working new model… for almost half the price of the previous one.

    We are talking here of a company that for looong time had proprietary RAM architecture to be able to charge for the upgrade 3 to 4 times as much as anyone else wanting to add RAM to their computers.

    As long as they have followers that verge in fanatic religious fundamentalism, they’ll keep doing this time after time, and that people will time after time bend over and shell out the absurdly big offering that their gods demand… and be grateful about it. It’s sickening, really.

  • In the article it says there is no mention of the ipad 3, it’s not in their lineup. Unless the photo posted is old ( even though I’m pretty sure it’s new since the ipad mini is shown), wouldn’t the ipad with retina display shown be the ipad 3?

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