John Gruber quotes Fraser Speirs on the iPad 4, which came in a mere six months after the “new iPad” (iPad3):
As for the iPad 4, I’m not at all upset that Apple ‘obsoleted’ my 6-month-old iPad 3. You’re asking me would I rather the pace of innovation slowed down just so I could feel like the king of the hill for a bit longer? That’s crazy. If there’s one thing you’ll never hear me ask for, it would be that Apple slow down the rate at which iPads get better.
This is disingenuous.
Consider this scenario: Apple releases a new iPad on day X and Speirs buys it three days later. On day X+7 later Apple releases a newer version at the same price with a much faster processor… twice as fast, they claim. What would Speirs say? Viva rapid innovation? Or: “man, that’s unfair!”. I am guessing the latter.
The question that Speirs raises is not the one being asked. It’s puzzling why Speirs and Gruber cannot understand the real question without constructing a hypothetical. What is being asked is: why could Apple not have combined the two into a single product that went on sale sometime this year?
The reason why a “new iPad” buyer might ask that question should also be obvious. Someone who bought an iPhone 4 or earlier knows that Siri is not an option for them. Nor are flyover maps. The truth is that Apple does not offer some new iOS features for older models. A user can expect that his model will start falling behind the feature curve once it gets two model behind. That used to mean 2 years. Now it means a year and half or less. That’s a fair reason for dissatisfaction.