The big news this week, of course, was the iPad. Speculation about a tablet device from Apple has been building for years. It feels a bit surreal to see a photograph of Steve Jobs holding a real piece of operational hardware as opposed to all those "leaked" Photoshop versions out there.
Although it's never easy to rise above the overwhelming tonnage of information on the web, there is one blog
that refuses to recycle, regurgitate, and re-link making a sincere attempt to analyze and then explain what's really happening in the world of technology. Anticipating the announcement from Apple, that blog nailed its major hardware prediction last week. As someone who has been following Apple closely for many years (both as a user and an industry analyst), Paul Boldt of ned, maude, todd & rod inc.
knows exactly what enables every successful new Apple product.
"A central aspect of Apple's success has to be integration," Dr. Boldt pointed out on his Materials Matters blog last week. With that in mind, Boldt predicted that the upcoming tablet device would be powered by a custom processor designed by the team formerly known as PA Semi. Further to the number crunching demands of a platform somewhere "between an iPhone and a Macbook," Paul Boldt realized that whatever chip Apple used would provide the horsepower for graphics-intense applications while allowing users the longest time possible between recharging the battery. The low power design expertise embodied in the PA Semi team was a perfect fit for Apple as it moved further toward mobile computing with the iPhone launch about a year earlier.
Ryan Block of GDGT pointed out that he could not find "anything that was sluggish" despite his best attempts during his demo time. Block claimed he was about to get ripped away from the iPad by the other journalist lined up to fondle Apple's latest offering. Other analysts who managed to get their hands on it echoed those comments: Snappy, quick, and seamless were just some of the adjectives thrown around as geeks gushed over the iPad. Those comments are thanks in large part to the 1GHz Apple A4 processor.
I have to admit to being wrong about this and congratulate Boldt for his accurate prediction. I did not give Apple enough credit, preferring to believe that they would just use the next generation of off-the-shelf Samsung ARM processor (as they do in the iPhone) rather than an in-house design. Perhaps I need to make amends by actually buying an iPad when they finally show up at the Apple Store.
Of course, I will be well back in the line from the
reverse engineering guys, who will be desperate to get their hands on the iPad and its processor as soon as it hits the shelves. Paul is bound to be right about that prediction, too. But maybe I should take a bet with him on who will actually be the first with details of the Apple A4 processorChipworks or Semiconductor Insights. That way, I can continue this new tradition of checking up on predictions.
See other commentaries on iPad:
10 reasons why I like the iPad
The iPad falls short, way short
All hail, mighty iPad
The Apple iPad: Your future third device?