Expandable memory in the iPad, hah!

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In scouring all of the articles written on the new iPad since it’s preview, it’s pretty clear it will be a solid tablet that builds off the original.  The iPad2 isn’t leaps and bounds above the original, and we’ll see plenty of original iPad owners not deciding to upgrade to the new version due to this.  It’ll deliver an excellent user experience.  Of course the usual iPad3 rumors are already picking up.  Silly stuff indeed.  Unfortunately, one of the normal rumors that is always brought up throughout all of Apple’s product lines are the expandable memory and usb connectivity topics.   When are these paid tech “journalists” going to put 2 and 2 together, and not have it equal 6?

We’ve been pushing for certain upgrades with the Apple line every year.  A new product comes out, and it’s missing certain key features that irritate some people, and work fine with others.  If sales have any meaning, it’s not something most people worry about.  Expandable memory is one of these issues.  Sure, the Android crowd can talk about all of that expandable storage they can upgrade to in the future, as well as turn that 32GB model into the 64GB one.  But Steve just doesn’t care about that.  He does things his way, and that seems to benefit him.

Now to get things out of the way, I believe expandable memory should be standard across any portable lineup.  It gives consumers a chance to get a product at a more reasonable price, and let them upgrade the storage down the line.  Storage space is something you can upgrade, and it’s a little easier than upgrading to a hardware keyboard on an iPhone.   It also doesn’t have to ruin the design either, as some Apple fan boys will tell you.  My Nook has expandable memory, and give it to someone and see how long it takes them to find the memory card slot.  Point is, there is no reason you shouldn’t do this that will look bad from a users point of view.

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With that said, Steve clearly doesn’t believe this is the way.  Apple feels that expandable memory can hurt the performance, and isn’t as smooth and seamless in the end.  Of course this is rubbish.  A read only system for MicorSD cards wouldn’t be an issue.  This of course depends on many variables, but it wouldn’t be an issue (unless you bought that class 1 card from “Frank” down the street).  The real reason is control.  Apple needs this.  They don’t make money off expandable storage slots.  They make it off the original hardware when you can’t upgrade your own memory.  If you need that extra space, you buy the more expensive iPad.  Apple makes more profit because of this.  The jump from 16GB of storage to 32gb doesn’t cost Apple $100, but their extra profit from that jump is almost the full $100.

Now these are things that most people know about.  That should include tech writers and bloggers, but it doesn’t.  I can’t fathom why.  Has Apple ever added expandable memory to the iPod lineup?  Have they ever done this with the iPhone?  Don’t they usually take a little longer to get such standard features on their Mac lineup?  So why is it such a surprise when expandable memory, and other seemingly standard features are missing?  According to Lance Ulanoff, “It’s likely because the iPad 2’s new cameras mean you can snap and store photos and videos on the tablet and you don’t need to collect them off your camera’s memory card,” when talking about why the iPad2 doesn’t have expandable memory(SD card slot) or USB ports.

Folks, maybe I’m just missing something here, but I just don’t get it.  I understand why people want expandable memory, and I understand putting this under the future iPad wishlist.  I just can’t understand why it’s such a surprise, and why they try to twist their own little excuses around for people to think that’s why Apple does things.  It’s really simple.  Apple doesn’t like expandable memory, multiple ports, a smaller tablet (iTouch anyone?), and flash.  Deal with it, and don’t make silly excuses for it.

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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