While the wide-ranging points of sale meant there were few huge queues for the press to get excited about, Apple still managed to notch up a blazing three million sales over its opening weekend, but will heat prove the enemy of the new tablet?
Three and Up
Three million sales and rising is a number that will cast aside any lingering doubts (brought about by a lack of those massive queues) that interest in the iPad was waning. That was Apple's official number for the launch weekend, which compares well to the 4.5 million iPad 2 sales in its first quarter on sale.
AT&T claimed record amounts of activiations for its 4G model to back up Apple's numbers. However, some users are already complaining that their tablets are getting rather hotter than with their previous iPads.
The reasons are obvious, a far higher resolution screen, a far busier processor and bigger battery are using a lot of energy, which creates the heat. Consumer Reports has measured the new iPad running at up to 47c (116f), some 10f hotter than the previous model and charterize it as warm, but not uncomfortable in the hand in one area.
That heat is only reached running intensive tasks, so should be less of an issue during casual use. It is also worth pointing out that if the heat is reaching the outside, then the case is doing its job of keeping the processor cool. As long as users don't have to hold the iPad at that spot, it shouldn't be a great issue.
Hot, Hot, Hot
Apple has said that the new iPad performs well "within thermal specifications" but could be seen as another example of Apple's marketing arrogance in play. If, at any point, during the launch, in the press release or on launch day, Apple had mentioned that it runs a little warmer, then everyone would have been forewarned.
Instead we have headlines like "is this the next antennagate?" and press waiting eagerly for the first one to burst into flames. Other reported issues include rapid battery drain with the screen at full brightness and long recharge times due to the size of the new battery. All of these issues might clear up as the devices are run in, or through firmware updates, but nothing seems to be detering users from picking up the latest hi-res apps.
At worst, this issue may limit how long users can play games, which is probably not a bad thing for the eyesight. At best though, it may encourage some companies to design heat disappating new cases that move the heat from the one area that it is prevalent in, to the rest of the surface to reduce the effect of the hot spot.