March 9, 2012
Beyond processor specifications, Apple doesn't usually have much to say about the inner goings-on of its iDevice family, and the new iPad has been no exception. From Apple's announcement, we knew it would feature a quad-core A5X SoC, but that's about all. However, earlier-than-expected "confirmations" indicate that the included RAM's been doubled to an entire gigabyte, and that the battery -- previously a 6944 mAh (25Wh) powerhouse -- is now a gigantic 11,666 mAh (42Wh)! On a practical level, it's obvious Apple had to introduce a larger battery to keep the new iPad on track for 10 hours per charge. After all, that new Retina display sucks down more juice than Mr. Olympia, and LTE -- when enabled -- is notoriously hard on energy stores. So, it should be no surprise that Apple needed to up the battery ante. What is surprising, however, is that Apple managed this drastic improvement while barely increasing the overall size of the iPad itself. And, since last year's model was nearly all battery to begin with, this means Apple has made quite the industrial breakthrough. Like ZDNET tells us,
[i]t suggests that Apple has managed to increase significantly the power density of the Li-ion cells that it uses. In an industry that has seemed stagnant for some time now, this is quite an achievement and goes to show that Apple’s battery research labs and manufacturing plants have been hard at work. There’s no doubt that we’re going to be seeing the fruits of this labor in other Apple products soon.What's more, these advancements are likely proprietary, protected properties, meaning the Cupertino company has yet another strategic advantage over its computing competition. It's been a long time coming, but battery life -- at least for Apple products -- may finally give up its crown as mobile technology's single largest limiting factor. That title now goes to Android.