Yesterday, Apple announced they will hold an event in early March 2012 to launch and debut the iPad 3. As with the initial version and the iPad 2, the products likely won't be available until April or shortly thereafter.
I am not an Apple person, but I had an original version of the iPad, and I was one of the first to get it, since I opted for the Wi-Fi based model instead of the 3G version that was a little later in production. After receiving it at the beginning of May 2010, I quickly became a fan: It was fun; it was cool; it had a lot of apps; it was actually a good "lite" replacement for a laptop, and much "lighter" and easier to carry around.
In my profession, my biggest needs are connectivity, creativity, access to research, email, correspondence and generally, basic office productivity tools like Word and spreadsheet tools. When reviewing software, of course, I need full workstations and servers to handle the programs that I'm testing. But this is not something I've done from the road.
In short, I need the internet, email and word processing for about 90 percent of my work while I'm traveling to businesses, conferences and meetings with accountants and technology developers.
I liked the iPad because it made those things easy to do and it had a long battery life compared to a laptop. Plus, it gave me entertainment in the form of apps and movies while traveling.
Alas, my iPad went AWOL in December 2011. Imagine the scene of someone driving off and forgetting their coffee cup on top of their car. Now, in that scene, replace the coffee cup with a $500 iPad. Yes, it was a sad day, and I never did find it again.
So- here I am a few months later and I'm itching for another tablet. But I don't think I'll be getting an iPad. Why? Because much like the mobile phone world, other developers have caught up to most of what the iPad offers, and for considerably less money.
The iPad 3 will probably be cooler than the Kindle Fire I am leaning toward, and there will probably always be more apps for Apple products, and those apps will probably be produced for the iPad and iPhone first, just as they are now. I'm fine with that, just as I'm very happy with my Motorola Atrix 4G Android phone.
The Kindle Fire will meet my mobile/tablet needs and wants, and at half the price. Considering the fate of my iPad, the price difference is significant to me.