Following the Apple rumour mill is a favourite pass-time for many of us in the tech industry, but the suggestion that the next iPad (both the smaller format 7.9″ mini and larger 9.7″ version) will have an anti-reflective coating on the screen is worth getting excited about. I love my iPad, but I will still be the first to admit that in bright-light environments it is little more than an expensive paper weight. It was for this reason that I invested in a single-purpose eReader that allows me to spend my book reading time in the summer sun.
Analysts are starting to report that tablet sales are leveling off for Apple –not so much because people are losing interest, but more so because earlier versions of the iPad are functioning well and there are few reasons for existing owners to upgrade. Unlike smartphones, tablets are still very much seen as nice-to-have instead of need-to-have. This means Apple needs to come up with enhancements and upgrades that will be seen as enough of a difference to warrant buying a new unit (and for those new to iPad, features need to be persuasive enough to make them take the leap).
There is less hype for iPads right now with so much focus being placed on the highly anticipated iPhone 6 release (expected in September). If the rumours prove true and the iPhone 6 is launched with larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions, the iPad Mini market may suffer. That little bit of additional screen real estate on the smartphone may negate the portability benefit many see with the smaller tablets.
With all of that said, I would hope that this anti-reflective coating would also be added to an upcoming version of the iPhone.