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Summary:

An idiosyncratic survey of German consumers may not be indicative of what the rest of the world wants in the next iPad, but it does make you wonder what, exactly, Apple will do with the iPad 2. Here are the top six desired features.

An idiosyncratic survey of German consumers may not be indicative of what the rest of the world wants in the next iPad, but it does make you wonder what, exactly, Apple will do with the iPad 2.

The survey of 3,000 consumers by German shopping site Gutschein-Codes returns results that are simultaneously realistic and unrealistic, but either way, users’ desires are unlikely to be met are unlikely to be met. The top six desired features by popularity are:

  • 48% USB
  • 44% Adobe Flash
  • 42% optical drive
  • 38% TV Tuner
  • 30% waterproof and shockproof
  • 29% camera

A camera, the least desired feature, is arguably the most likely to be added to the iPad 2. If the next iPod touch gets two cameras and FaceTime capability, consider FaceTime in the iPad 2 a done deal. With the purchase of LiquidMetal Technologies, future iPads will likely be more durable, but a desire for waterproofing seems just…odd.

Also odd are people that think you can just add an optical drive to a device that is half an inch thick. As magical as the iPad is, creating non-dimensional space is beyond even Jonathan Ive. While there’s no physical reason not to include Flash or a TV tuner, both compete against Apple’s business models at the iTunes Store and the App Store, so it’s not happening.

As for USB, that could be a surprising feature of the iPad 2. There’s already a camera connection kit that has some basic USB capabilities (mainly geared towards cameras), but it really ends there.At the request of the European Commission, several smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, have agreed to create a universal charger, likely via micro-USB port. Of course, USB and cameras aren’t all that will be in iPad 2.

First, there might be more than one iPad 2, as Taiwanese rumormonger-on-steroids DigiTimes reports that Apple preparing two iPads for launch in the first quarter of 2011. The 9.7-inch iPad will feature a new ARM Cortex A9 CPU and 512MB RAM. Add in a storage bump, maybe a 128GB model, and that’s pretty much common sense, less so the rumor of a 7-inch iPad using a high-end IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1024×768. And why not a 5-inch iPad, too? One need look no further than the soon-to-be-flop Dell Streak to see why not.

A phone with a 5-inch screen doesn’t fit in the hand and is too small for a tablet. A 7-inch iPad doesn’t save much on size or weight, but sacrifices the precious screen real estate that makes the iPad experience so pleasurable. However, Apple could learn from the Dell Streak in one respect.

Did you know that if you bought an iBook around 2000, you had to pay $100 for an AirPort Card to get Wi-Fi? Now you pay for 3G in your iPad, but it won’t be long before it’s built-in. The only question is whether 3G Android tablets will force Apple’s hand later, rather than Apple adding value to the iPad sooner.

What does my ideal iPad 2 look like? Pretty much like a 3G iPad, with the possible exception of a micro-USB port in addition to/in place of the Dock Connector and a least one camera. Internally, it will feature a faster CPU, 512MB RAM, and a three-axis gyroscope like the iPhone 4, but not the “Retina Display.” That would require an iPad with a display running at least at 2048 x 1536 and a battery-draining CPU to match. Might as well throw in an optical drive. The prices will stay the same, starting at $499, possibly with a 128GB model for $799.

So, what does your iPad 2 look like?

Related GigaOM Pro Research: The Case For Removable Media on the iPad

  1. Camera please and thanks.

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  2. My ipad2 would have something higher than ios3…

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  3. e-ink display. OK, maybe not.

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    1. Well, there is the Pixel Qi display technology:

      http://www.pixelqi.com/

      It’s supposed to be used for the Notion Ink Adam tablet, but I’m going to have to see it looking that fabulous to believe it.

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  4. Are you kidding?! Retina display would be my number one priority. Steve can throw on a GPU/Fusion/Whatever if he has to. In fact, I’m not buying another device with a display, unless that display matches the resolution of my iPhone4. There’s just no going back!

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    1. Setting aside the increased cost of an IPS LCD, the question becomes how much of the current ten-hour battery would you be willing to trade for a higher density display? As much as I’d like an iPad with a Retina Display, I am even more enamored of going days without needing to charge my iPad.

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  5. Both the new sizes of iPads are excellent ideas. The current iPad is too heavy for a lot of uses (i.e. reading in bed). It is also too large to carry about any way but in a case, which gives it no more portability than a netbook.

    Real portability comes when a gadget can fit either in a regular pocket (the 5″ version) or a coat pocket (the 7″ version). Then it becomes something we always have with us. The latter size (and accompanying low price) is what makes the latest Kindle so appealing. Up to 3500 books and a month of reading in a coat pocket is impressive. I’m sure Apple has noticed that.

    Personally, I’d prefer that the 5″ version be a large-screen iPod touch. I doubt the iPad UI will work well with a screen that small, but an iPod touch UI would be great. My big, clumsy guy fingers would work better with a larger screen. On the other hand, with a high-resolution retina screen, a 7″ iPad version might work quite well and it’d be nice to have a iPad-in-the-pocket for reading and watching on the go.

    These surveys should include adding a GPS to at least some models of the iPad and iPod touch. Used with GPS apps having built-in map data, $20 more in hardware costs would turn our little gadgets into a $200+ GPS. I have three GPSs, but rarely carry them about since even the smallest is so bulky. But I always have my iPod touch with me.

    Finally, a waterproof model makes more sense that some are thinking. In a hospital environment, it means that only the outside has to be sterilized. In work environments such as factories and warehouses, something that is waterproof is also dust proof.

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  6. Awesome Article! I just posted a similar one over at TCGeeks but added a few of my own predictions for what I really feel will be in the next version of the iPad:

    http://www.tcgeeks.com/the-ipad-version-2-what-will-it-have/

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  7. Actually none of these ideas appeal to me, especially if they add weight or cost, or reduce battery life. I use Skype a lot, but have no need for people to see me, and my phone has a camera for stills and video. My documents are already in the cloud so I don’t need a USB port to attach storage. And I don’t read in the rain. My wish list for iPad2 would be:

    1) reduced weight (but not at the expense of battery life)
    2) micro USB charging port (so I can share charger and cable with my phone)

    Either one of those features would make me consider upgrading (probably would). Both and I would upgrade immediately.

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  8. I don’t understand this mania for having cameras on everything. Why would you need a camera on an iPad? A canes that faces the user for video calls – yes, that would be great. But another one facing outward? What would that be for? Are you really going to stand there holding up a great thing like a book in front of you to take pictures? Why add to the cost of the device by giving it an impractical feature that you already have on you phone, where it is useful?

    What I want on the iPad is a fully featured word processing package that is fully compatible with cloud storage or USB storage, allowing me to edit and save documents with footnotes easily and without fuss. With that, I could replace my laptop when it comma out with an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard. But while the iPad isn’t a genuine mobile word processing tool, I can’t justify the expense.

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    1. Apples response to cloud storage is iDisk via MobileMe, which is awesome if your willing to do the $99/yr deal. But it lacks some of the benefits of Amazon. That said if enough bloggers took up the topic, im sure we would see talks between Apple and Amazon increase.

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  9. A 12 inch screen.

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  10. I want an iPad I can do software development on!

    Access to the Unix command line (e.g., via Terminal.app), XCode, etc.

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