What are the differences between the iPad 2 and new iPad (for a South African)?

Posted on June 23, 2012

A previous post of mine comparing the iPad and iPad 2 proved to be one of the most visited on the site with over 3500 people reading it. Since the new iPad  (aka iPad 3) has been out for a little while now it made sense to do a follow-up.

When it was announced a big deal was made about the screen, and what an amazing screen it is. However that is not the only difference between the devices. As a very happy iPad 2 wi-fi+3G user I wasn’t going to upgrade, and kept telling myself I didn’t need to as there weren’t really any real differences. The chance came along to get a new iPad at a great price and I took it. Looking back, I didn’t realise all the difference between the two.

Below I explore many of those differences – component by component. Take a look at the bottom of the post for a line by line factual comparison to support the opinions presented. The information (in the table)  is sourced from a number of websites. Source list with links below the table.

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An overlooked difference between iPad 1 and 2 (for us in SA anyway) #in

Posted on March 26, 2011

After Cell C launched their really awesome speedstick/whoosh deal (R1000 for 2 gig of data for 12 months – 24 gig in total) way back when, I wondered why they didn’t bundle it up with the iPad and get some publicity for their really good data deals. It was only in the middle of Feb when Gus Silber (@gussilber) pointed out to me on Twitter that the iPad 1 isn’t compatible with the 900MHz UMTS 3G that the penny dropped.

Up to that point I had been eyeing out the iPad thinking I really would like to get one – and planning to pop one of those juicy Cell C data cards into it. Plan foiled. Drat. Suddenly the Samsung Galaxy Tablet looked a bit more appealing, and yes, perhaps I’ve been drinking some of that Apple coolaid, but I wasn’t much taken with that option.

Roll on the iPad 2.

With its improvements :

  • Thinner (down from 13.4mm to 8.8mm)
  • Lighter (WiFi + 3G version is down from 730g to 613g)
  • Faster Processor (1GHz single-core A4 chip vs dual-core 1GHz A5 chip)
  • Faster Graphics (Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX 543MP – up to 9 times faster) (See www.anandtech.com)

Shiny new benefits :

  • Front-facing VGA camera
  • Rear-facing 720p camera
  • Gyroscope
  • Optional new case attached by magnets
  • Optional HDMI output dongle

So far it all sounds dandy. Yeah, its smaller, faster, better makes coffee and puts hair on your chest.  Lots to look at and smile about but nothing to make me reach into my wallet. To have such a toy and not be able to consume media with it just undermines the whole purpose. And yes, I could use WiFi in the house over the ADSL connection, but that isn’t the point.

Then while reading one of the reviews (Thanks ZDNet) came the shocker. While WiFi and Bluetooth remain the same (802.11 a/b/g/n and 2.1 + EDR respectively), the 3G radio has been upgraded.


The original iPad featured EDGE plus triband HSPA while the iPad 2 features EDGE plus quadband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) for the AT&T versions.

There is the magic number. 900 UMTS. We are in the game baby. This thing will work with Cell C’s  4gs (3.5G) service. Suddenly my key sticking point for not getting one of these is gone. And I want it. Now :)

I am surprised this has been so under-reported here in SA. This really is a key change for us, and a game-changer for me.  I wonder if the discounted prices currently available on the iPads will be carried over to the new iPads when they arrive on our shores? ?  (They were touted as being the permanent new price rather than discounted price?) Wishful thinking I know, but one can dream. R5000 for the 3G 16 gig would be the sweet spot. Come on Digicape (http://www.digicape.co.za/ipad/ipad.html) make us smile.

Link to MyBroadband post on the same topic : link

Update : Thanks Dimitri for clearing up any confusion on this and confirming that the Cell C 3G service does indeed run at 3G (rather just Edge as some have reported) speeds on the iPad 2. Just beware of coverage in outlying areas. Still, at R86/month for 2gig of data per month for a year (paid as R1000 upfront), that is a really awesome data deal. A whole lot better (still) than any of the competition are offering. And since it is prepaid, no nasty bill shock as you can’t go over the monthly limit.

Update 2 : 8ta vs Cell C  and my winner is …. 

8ta have also launched their super-duper data deal. R199 a month (on 24 month contract – yuck) gives you 10 Gig of data goodness to use and abuse with your iPad. That’s a lot of data for not a huge payment. Personally, I’m sticking to Cell C for now. At R86/month (on the R1000 prepaid option) for 2 Gig, I pay around a third of the 8ta price and get 20% of the data. Yes R43/Gig is quite a bit more than R20/Gig. Compared to where we were a year ago, this is a buyers market. Try to take advantage of that without getting tied in too long.

Update 3 : The “new’ iPad is here, thoughts and comparisons with iPad 2 here.

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