When Apple reveals its latest iPad today in California , no-one doubts it will help the company maintain its dominance in the tablet market.
But how the company responds to would -be rivals — most notably the Kindle Fire from Amazon — "could become an indicator as to how closely it plans to hew to the vision of the late Steve Jobs," says the Wall Street Journal. Are the company's current managers willing to take a different road?
First the new iPad itself:
Rumour No 1: The new iPad will have a faster, quad-core processor and a high-resolution display similar to the "Retina display" in the company's iPhone and iPod Touch products.
Rumour No 2: It will have the Siri voice system as on the iPhone 4S.
Rumour No 3: The new iPad will be able to connect to 4G LTE networks .The iPhone 5, is expected to be an LTE device when it comes out later this year.
Rumour No 4: A smaller iPad will be announced. This would be in response to the Kindle Fire, which Amazon launched in November with a 7-inch screen compared to the nearly 10-inch screen on the iPad. The cheapest Kindle Fire is t $200 — about 60% cheaper than the lowest-priced iPad.
And this is where adherence to the Steve Jobs legacy enters the scene .
In a conference call in Oct. 2010, Jobs, stricken with cancer, said 7-inch tablets were "not sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion." He also added that 7-inch tablets compared unfavourably to both smartphones and other tablets.
"Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong tradeoff," he said. "The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad."
So will Apple buck the legacy? Watch this space.