There were plenty of reports claiming that the new iPad keeps charging beyond the point where the battery icon indicates it is 100 percent charged—which is actually a value-added feature that Apple Vice President Michael Tchao said has been built into the product’s operating system, iOS, for a while.
DisplayMate analyst Ray Soneira said that the iPad indicates it is fully charged when it is actually not. Tchao explained that it is happening because the new iPad runs on a cycle where it fully charges, then discharges, then fully recharges in order to maintain an optimum charge.
“That circuitry is designed so you can keep your device plugged in as long as you would like,” he told the technology blog AllThingsD. “It’s a great feature that’s always been in iOS.”
According to eWeek, the company promises 10 hours of battery life for its latest version of the iPad, which has yet to be given an official moniker Apple usually bestows upon the updated versions of its products.
Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe told AllThingsD that battery charging is a complex process, the specifics of which are best left to engineers. “What’s really subtle is that consumers think they understand that 100 percent means ‘full,’” Howe was reported as saying.
“That might have been the case with older batteries, but today’s batteries have microprocessors managing their charging. So 100 percent is whatever that microprocessor says it is — it’s not any absolute measurement of ion concentration or anything.”
“We don’t have to understand their engineering to use them,” Howe continued. “However, we shouldn’t apply our prejudices formed (both good and bad) from older generations of battery technology to today’s systems either. If it says it’s charged, consumers should assume it is, and not worry about whether the charger is drawing current.”
The battery life indicator is not the only feature that has drawn attention to the iPad. The tablet also operates at higher temperatures—the back of the new iPad reached temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit—than the iPad 2 when running a processor-intensive game.
In addition, the new iPad features a high-resolution Retina Display, an improved camera and processor, and comparable battery life to its predecessors.
The company reports it has sold 3 million new iPads since the next-generation tablet’s March 16 release. Philip Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, claimed in a company release that the opening sales weekend had produced “the strongest iPad launch yet.”
Analysts from Canaccord Genuity had predicted sales of almost 60 million iPads this year while the record pre-orders of the new Apple tablet had led to an estimate of 65 million. Since the first iPad was released, a little over two years ago, the company has sold around 55 million of the tablet computers.
“In many ways the iPad is reinventing portable computing, and it’s outstripping the wildest of predictions,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said while performing the device, noting that Apple sold more units of the iPads than any other PC maker sold PCs in the fourth quarter last year.