Good news, everyone! It’s confirmed that the new iPad is indeed slightly “faster” than the iPad 2. Early benchmarks of the new iPad show that the actual clock speed of the A5X SoC is still set at 1GHz, the same speed as the iPad2. But the new model also rocks 1GB of RAM, which should make for a smoother and faster experience. Plus, as Apple stated in the announcement keynote, the A5X rocks a quad-core graphics chip for better graphic performance.
Apple rarely talks nerd-level specs. The company would much rather talk about marketable improvements based on user experience — you know, general arbitrary nonsense. That’s why Tim Cook & Co. just glazed over the technical improvements during the new iPad’s launch and instead focused on new features. It was mentioned that the new tablet has an updated A5X SoC but the actual clock speed and amount of RAM was never mentioned. In many ways Apple’s method is right. The spec is dead — but just for Apple. Listing specs is only important when comparing competing products. There is no direct competitor to the iPad.
Android tablets are locked in a sort of spec race. Slightly different hardware is the only differentiating factor between Android tablets since they all run the same OS and have the same form factor. But there is only one iOS tablet out there: the iPad. Comparing the specs between an iOS and Android device is a fool’s affair. It only matters in fanboy flame wars.
Specs like clock speed and RAM for iOS hardware should only really matter to developers planning product road maps — not that they should be coding just for the new hardware. Smart developers will use this information to plan future products but continue to optimize their apps to work on a broad number of devices instead of limiting themselves to the newest model.