Are the New iPad's Heat Issues a Sign That Things Are Cooling Down?

Patent_PendingEver since the release of the “New” iPad we have been trying to get through the marketing hype, the incorrect bench marks and some downright incorrect conclusions on what is and is not going on with the latest tablet from Apple. After the launch of the iPad 2 we began to notice something about the way Apple was moving. When they released the iPhone and the later the iPad they appeared to be very much on top of things and also ahead of many manufacturers. However, what we saw back then (and was brought even more to light with this launch) is that Apple cannot keep up this pace. It is true that Apple has name recognition and a very broad following, but if you take a look around their marketing has slipped as has some of their reputation. Yesterday we heard about one more issue that we foresaw once we had more information on the hardware under the iPad’s hood.

In what had to have been the leakiest launch of any Apple product in recent years we knew for months before the launch that the third generation iPad would have a new SoC (System on Chip) under the hood the A5X. This was an incremental improvement over the A5 and not a completely new SoC as many thought. The thing that struck us was the heat spreader. This tiny little bit of information had us thinking about the way Apple builds things and also brought us back to the iPhone 3Gs (and in some cases the iPhone 4). If you remember Apple released a warning about using the iPhone 3Gs outside of a very limited temperature range after a number of users reported it overheating just sitting on the seat in sunlight. Then there was the issue with the back of the White iPhones discoloring. This was later linked to heat as well (although Apple never admitted it).

At the time we could not help thinking that if the A5X needs a heat spreader and you have a quad core PowerVR SGX 543MP4 just how hot is this thing going to get? The passive cooling of even an all-aluminum back might not be enough to keep this cool under stress. Now let’s add to this the heat from that 2k Retina display and you have the makings for disaster. This is exactly what some users are reporting with the New iPad. We are hearing that under lengthy gaming, videos or if you are not using your iPad in a cool place you can easily push it into thermal overload.

Now there will be millions of people that will never see the triangle of doom on their iPads. We never saw it on out 3Gs (we did on the iPhone 4 though). The reason for this is a simple one; many people will not be using the iPad as a hardcore gaming device and will never push the limits of the A5X, the SGX543MP4 or even the display. This means that millions of people will read about this and just be happy. However, there is a growing population of gamers for tablet and handhelds. This segment could lose confidence in Apple new product and might be tempted to change to something else. This is even more true considering Asus, Samsung and others are planning 1920x1080 tablets to be released later this year. Sure the New iPad still has a better display, but how much good is that going to do you if you can’t keep it running?

The signs of Apple slipping are starting to show. Tim Cook does not have the same personality, or drive that Steve Jobs did. So far under his leadership Apple has had some very disappointing things happen to them and while they will continue to make millions and will sell many, many iPads, iPods, iPhones and Macs their momentum is surely slowing and as we have said many times before they have to face both Microsoft and Google combined with all of their manufacturing partners in the tablet market at the end of this year. Tim Cook has his work cut out for him. Right now he is worried about keeping the stock holders happy, but that will only take things so far.

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