Jan 1, 2011
With the iPad, Apple has tried to create an experience that is more simple, direct and friendly than that of using a full computer, and in doing so has had to carefully consider what to leave out so as not to overwhelm the device with features. Still, one imagines that an iPad 2 USB port would not add so much to the complexity of the device so as to make it unfriendly to use. A USB port could potentially add dozens of new features to the iPad 2, such as the ability to print from printers that do not have wireless support, the use of external storage devices, support for high-quality USB audio devices for recording — Gorillaz recently released an album recorded almost entirely on the iPad — and new types of game controllers. It might also allow users to install software from USB memory sticks, creating a market in stores for iPad software on physical media.
However, a USB port for the iPad 2 would also make iPad users less dependent on an accessory market controlled by Apple, and in theory would open the market up to third-party manufacturers in a way that Apple has historically been unwilling to do. This move would be out of character for Apple, and we suspect that, while Apple may be exploring the possibility of adding a USB port to the iPad 2, they will ultimately reject the addition due to the loss of control that it could bring.