Today is the big day for Apple fans, and for all of those following the news about an iPad 3, or, more likely, an iPad HD. All eyes are on San Francisco -- and Cupertino -- as we rapidly approach the 10 a.m. PT starting time for Apple's product event, which should unveil, among other things, the next-gen iPad and a next-gen Apple TV. However, if you're looking for a live stream from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, you might want to stop looking.
Apple does not live stream its events, and does not allow outsiders to do it for them. Fans can follow live blogs of the event, as many media members will be tweeting and blogging information as they get it, but that's the closest you can get to live coverage.
But why wouldn't Apple want to live stream the iPad HD event? Not that Apple needs the money, but an event of this size and scope could bring in lots of traffic dollars if Apple decided to host a live video stream into the event directly on its website, Apple.com. However, in this case, Apple cares about something more than money: Looks.
Apple's late founder Steve Jobs always wanted to control every end of the Apple experience, from product conception, to design, to manufacturing, to delivery, to marketing, and even the packaging of the product. He was meticulous, a perfectionist, and his propensity to drum up hype for his insanely great devices made him the ultimate salesman.
This was no more evident than at Apple's product launches, where Jobs's flair for the dramatic really came out. He loved bouncing around the stage, energized by his own excitement and passion for his products, but the presentations were always highly controlled and planned out. That was the Apple way: Have fun, do great things, but make it great.
This is why Apple will never live stream its events, at least not in the near future. Apple works hard to keep its products a secret until their official unveiling, and by live streaming the launch event, Apple would suddenly be sitting in front of an audience of millions of live viewers. If that's not intimidating enough, any problems or incidents that occur at the event would immediately be transmitted to millions.
While prior launch event videos show that Apple does little editing, the company wants a chance to film the event and distribute it at its own pace. Even though the Apple presentations are still well thought-out, there's little room for error if there was a live stream. If people knew Apple was live streaming the event, more idiots would want to break in and disrupt the event. Apple wants attention, but it wants attention that it can control.
So, unfortunately, that is why Apple will not live stream its events. You can wait until later this evening when Apple posts the iPad HD launch event on its website -- always a nice gesture for die-hard fans who wished they could attend -- or you can follow one of several live blogs of the event.
iPad HD Event: What to Expect
The iPad HD is said to feature an improved camera, a bigger battery, and a dual-LED backlit system to power an 2048 x 1536 true HD display that looks, according to a source who spoke to The New York Times, truly amazing. Apple's dual-LED solution makes the iPad's screen noticeably brighter, but it also apparently solved several puzzling issues with heat dissipation and battery consumption.
The iPad HD will also apparently be the first Apple iOS device to feature the high-speed 4G LTE network. The Wall Street Journal confirms that AT&T and Verizon Wireless are getting ready to sell an LTE-capable iPad, which could achieve faster download and upload speeds compared to 3G technologies, and Reuters again confirmed the news on March 6.
Apple originally hoped to include LTE in the iPhone 4S, but the current implementations of LTE in phones caused very short battery life, which was a major complaint by users. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a company earnings conference call in April 2011, said first-generation LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises.
The iPhone 4 PCB [printed circuit board] is already incredibly small, not leaving any room for an extra chip to enable LTE without shrinking the size of the battery, said Anand Shimpi, a chip expert and CEO of Anandtech.
Fortunately, Qualcomm recently unveiled the fifth iteration of its new chip, which supports TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, HSPA+, EV-DO, embedded GPS, and LTE on TDD and FDD networks worldwide. The chip works with Android and Windows 8 devices, but by targeting so many different carriers, there's a high degree of likelihood that this will be the same chip inside the iPhone 5.
Apple has also reportedly upgraded its front and rear cameras for better Facetime and pictures. This is no surprise -- the camera system on the iPad 2 is now considered low-end, given that it only records up to 720p HD and requires tapping to focus. Assuming Apple outfitted the iPad HD to shoot stills and video like the iPhone 4S, expect autofocus, video stabilization and full 1080p HD video recording.
Thus far, 1080p HD content has largely eluded users of Apple products, with HD versions of videos on the company's digital download service maxing out 720p (1280 x 720) and chief executive Steve Jobs balking at adoption of Blu-ray on Macs due to licensing complications and other challenges that he said threatened to translate into a 'bag of hurt.' But that could begin to change later this year, as a handful of feature films being submitted to the iTunes Store for a release in the September and October timeframe are being sent with documentation for an optional 1920 x 1080 resolution, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple is expected to launch a new version of its operating system, iOS 5.1, along with the iPad HD. If this is true, iOS 5.1 could offer support for 1080p HD videos. If this is the case, the update would also apply to the Apple TV device, which currently maxes out at 720p HD. In this way, users could start watching full HD videos on their new Apple TVs and new iPads starting in early March.