Joseph Thomas

During Apple’s press event today, they announced a new generation of their vastly popular iPad 4. Less than a year after unveiling the iPad 3, Apple releases a new, fourth-generation iPad. Nonetheless, such poor strategy and timing will undoubtedly result in a catastrophic consumer backlash. Congratulations, Apple, you officially pissed off your loyal iPad 3 customers.

The problem is huge, and marks a shift in Apple’s overall corporate strategy. You could guarantee this wouldn’t have occurred on the late Steve Jobs’ watch. The iPad 3 was an “upgrade” device for many iPad 1 owners, given the tablet upgrade cycle is much the same as mobile phones – two years. By releasing the next generation so early, Apple shows no regard for their customer base.

Resetting Release Schedule at the Cost of Customers

For those who write off the move as a marketing effort, it’s way more than that. Apple cannot afford to produce two full-sized iPads per year. They just can’t. Rather, they are resetting their release timeline, positioning the future iPad releases to occur before the holiday shopping season. While they should’ve done this at the very beginning, this move comes at the cost of loyal customers.

Apple absolutely must acknowledge their wrongdoing and rectify this issue with their iPad 3 owners. Otherwise, they are no better than their rival, Samsung. The move, overall, isn’t like the Apple we once knew. The Apple that used to show their customers respect. Simply put, this is the first real post-Jobs catastrophe of epic proportions.

What’s Different

The iPad 4 makes the iPad 3 feel extraordinarily outdated. The new iPad has an A6X processor, which is twice – yes – twice – as fast as the iPad 3. Plus, it has a Lightning connector and improved, but much-needed LTE connectivity.

Yes, It’s a BIG Deal

Don’t fool yourself, the iPad 4 is a massive upgrade compared to the iPad 3, which had spotty LTE at best and a now antiquated 30-Pin dock connector. Customers who must be on the cutting-edge of innovation now have a seemingly out-of-date piece of technology. Moreover, the market value of their beloved iPad 3 now went down the drain.

Let me boil it down for you: Apple screwed the millions of customers who bought the iPad 3. Good luck selling the iPad 3, now… the resale value plummeted as soon as the iPad 4 was announced.

Update 1 (8:30 p.m. PT): Apple is now selling the 16 GB iPad 3 for $380, nearly $120 LESS than you would've paid yesterday in their "Refurbished Store," even though it is brand new. The iPad 3 has since been removed from the Apple Store, whereas the iPad 2 still remains. Obviously, the iPad 3 must have been flawed... perhaps it was the overheating or inadequate processor?

Awaiting formal comment from Apple regarding disgruntled iPad 3 owners. The company will undoubtedly need to rectify the issue given the backlash.