The new Apple iPad doesn’t fall far from the Apple tree, and the taste just keeps getting better. Apple is growing in both the stock market and the mobile market. One month ago, March 16, released the 3rd generation iPad (“iPad 3″) in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK. Within the first three days, three million were sold. Early this month, April 5, Apple’s stock closed at $633.68 per-share, exceeding Google stock which closed at $632.32 (before Google’s subsequent 2-for-1 stock split last week). With the pace of Apple next generation products, one is left wondering… Is Apple now competing with Apple, and are there other mobile products besides Apple?

Now Apple makes the iPad 3 available in an additional 21 countries. To name a few – On April 20 in South Korea, Malaysia, and Latin America; and on April 27 in India, Israel, South Africa and Thailand. As the 3rd generation iPads go global, should you be among those buying the new iPad?

The iPad 3 will dazzle you. Its showcase feature is the Retina Display, a 9.7” screen with a 2048 x 1536 pixel, higher-resolution. An “A-Ha!” moment. A frontside FaceTime camera for video chat. A backside iSight camera for 5 megapixel photos and 1080 resolution videos. Ready for WIFI or 4G LTE wireless network communications. Um, “Take dictation, please,” with the dictation feature. Bundled richly with Apple Apps. Steve Jobs had in mind the iPad 3 when he envisioned our lives changing for the better.

For balance, here’s the down side. Your old (low-res) photos may look grainy or pixelated on the intended to be crisp Retina Display. The battery may tend to overheat. If you watch streaming movies in their brilliant hi-res glory, be sure to manage your 4G data communications plan so that you don’t get charged for using over your quota. Add in the comms cost; it’s not cheap.

It’s all good. But are you ready to buy? What’s your new iPad Buyers Interest Quotient (IQ)? What’s in it for you? To find out your new iPad Buyers IQ, take this quick six-question test. The purpose of the test is to help you see where your best interests lie. For all of the questions, except one that is marked, you may select all that apply. No wrong answers.

Question #1: What do you do in a typical day? (Check all that apply)
____ (1) Use PC desktop apps, such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop.
____ (2) Use Mac apps like iLife, iWork, iCloud, or other Mac apps.
____ (3) Search and surf. Read news and eBooks online.
____ (4) Watch online streaming videos (from Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix).
____ (5) Use the cloud to organize my life and go paperless for meetings, work, family and school.

Question #2: Presently, how do you connect with friends and family? (Check all that apply)

____ (1) Liking mobile apps like 4Square, Words with Friends, and/or Instagram.
____ (2) Into Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, blogging daily.
____ (3) Video chatting weekly.
____ (4) Use my cell phone for talking and texting daily.
____ (5) I typically email friends and family from a laptop or desktop computer daily.
____ (subtract 5) I’m all already about mobile apps, games, and video chat using Google Hangout, or Apple FaceTime.

Question #3: What’s your current setup? (Check all that apply)

____ (1) iPhone4S
____ (2) I have an iPad already but wanna give it away and buy a new one.
____ (3) Use Apple OSX Mountain Lion on a Mac
____ (4) Mac OSX Snow Leopard or earlier
____ (5) Android, Windows pc, and/or cellphone
____ (subtract 10) Got all of the above.

Question #4: What do you want to do in the near future? (Check all that apply)
____ (1) Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, blogging, and/or chat
____ (2) Video chat, such as Skype or Google Talk.
____ (3) Mobile social apps, suck as 4Square, Words with Friends, or Instagram.
____ (4) Music and mobile apps for tools, education, books, and games – from either Google Play or Apple Appstore.
____ (5) Apple iWork, iLife, iCloud and hi-res video chat using Google Hangout or Apple FaceTime.

Question #5: What is absolutely necessary in your mobile setup? (Pick TWO max)
____ (1) Typing on tactile keys.
____ (2) Fits in my pocket.
____ (3) Fits in my bag.
____ (4) Hi-res front and rear camera.
____ (5) Audio sound and screen resolution that makes the heart go THUMP.

Question #6: What communications do you currently have and/or plan to? Remember don’t drive while messaging! (Check all that apply)

____ (1) No 4G service in my area.
____ (2) Have internet at home, 3G for wireless, and a data plan for my smartphone.
____ (3) Access WIFI anywhere anytime.
____ (4) I live in a city with 4G LTE service, and can spring for a 5GB/month data plan costing $50/month.
____ (5) I need unlimited! I’ll get a 4G LTE data plan of 10GB/month costing $80/month.

Calculate your iPad Buyers IQ. Add up the numbers adjacent to the answers you check-marked. What’s your iPad 3 destiny? Should you buy or wait? Look up your result below:

  • 55 Points or over: You are in a great position to get a iPad 3. What’s not to love? If you scored above 60, run don’t walk to buy the iPad 3, fully loaded with storage and 4G LTE. It costs $829 (US) for the iPad3, plus $50 (US) or $80/month for the communications. If you scored closer to 55, then get the iPad 3 4G LTE with a 5GB data plan at $50/month. You go!
  • 40-55 Points: The iPad 3 is very cool, its charm is hard to resist. I’m just saying, consider other options: Wait for the next generation, or go with an Android tablet, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Google Chromebooks, which are great values. If you have reliable access to Wi-Fi then the iPad 3 for Wi-Fi only is your best value.
  • 25-40 Points: You can find lower cost mobile alternatives to the iPad 3. You don’t have to be like everyone on the planet with an iPad afterall. Maybe you need a smartphone? Or maybe just enjoy what you have for now.
  • 10-25 Points: Do you have some combo of iPad 2s or iPhone 4S or Droids or Macs? The Macs last “forever”, and Android laptop too. But the smartphones are only good for two years max… So enter the market later, when the next generation comes. Or maybe it’s a good time for you to upgrade your home computer?
  • under 10 Points: Don’t buy a thing! You’re fine as you are.

If you are still unsure, then pick the screen (size and resolution) and typing method (tactile keys or touch pad) that works best for how you intend to use it.

The iPad 3 Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model and $699 (US) for the 64GB model. The iPad Wi-Fi + 4G models will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model.

One regrettable footnote. A 17-year-old male high school student named Wang, from central China, sold his kidney for $3,500 for an organ transplant, in order for Wang to buy an iPhone and iPad (versions not identified). Reportedly he is now suffering from renal insufficiency. Oh why!? His IQ would be a fail.

If you are waiting, what are you waiting for? The new Apple iPhone 5 is expected in near October 2012. The rumored 7.85″ screen Apple Mini tablet is pegged for summer. Keep an eye out for a new Kindle Fire model in 2012, and the rapid roll-out of more Android tablets (Samsung Galaxy Tab 2), including Google tablets.

Is your iPad Buyers IQ where you want it to be? I hope this helps sort out the choices. Consumers will be on the receiving end of some great choices, while Apple, Androids and Amazon (the “Triple-A”) are competing like mad dogs. If you can bear to sit out the iPad 3 hype, get into position for Christmas 2012, or early 2013, to make your Triple-A move. However, if not the iPad, some Apple will likely be the right IQ for you.

About The Author

Sandra Giger is a Blast correspondent

2 Responses

  1. Aaron

    The wifi range issue on the new iPad (3) is really annoying, I was really sadden when I tried my new toy and this happened to me I’ve searched for a solution to this situation, A LOT. Right when I lost all hope, I came across WIRED magazine and found a review of Pong Research cases, after looking at the great feedback on their products, I decided to place my order, to finally solve the new iPad 3 wifi issues . The back cover has a built-in antennae in between it’s layers, which redirects and boosts the signals and range, allowing me to getting connected from the distance!


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