Apple surprises with 4th-generation iPad, faces backlash

In addition to the new iPad mini, Apple also took the wraps off a surprise device Tuesday: a revamped full-size iPad.

The new iPad — not to be confused with the “new iPad” the company rolled out in March — has a new Lightning dock connector, new A6x processor chip, new FaceTime camera and LTE support for more networks around the world.

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It shares the memory and pricing tiers of the iPad Apple announced in March, starting at $499 for 16GB and WiFi connectivity.

Apple consumers on Twitter who bought the new iPad, released in March, were quick to point out how fast the shine has faded from their tablets, as The Washington Post’s Caitlyn Dewey reported. The reaction echoed the response consumers had when Apple decided to lower the price of the original iPhone in time for the holidays, just two months after it went on sale.

In the forums at MacRumors, Dewey noted in The Post’s live blog, a 10-year MacRumors veteran named Spock complained that his new iPad 3 is already outdated: “For shame, Apple, for shame.”

On Twitter, third-generation iPad owners weighed their options.

“And to think, I was happily using my iPad 3 just this morning,” wrote technology blogger John Siracusa. “Maybe I can use it to level a piece of furniture or something.”

Others slathered on the snark.

“Congrats iPad 3 owners!,” wrote Twitter user @dr_pete. “Now, 6 months later, there are two iPads better than yours.

On the bright side, the refresh does substantially improve the iPad — good for consumers who were considering picking up the tablet for the holidays.

And Apple has a habit of overcoming immediate backlash, as it’s proven with the iPhone 4S, third-generation iPad and iPhone 5 — all of which went on to sell like hotcakes.

The first test of how much users want the new device comes at the end of the week — consumers can start placing pre-orders for the device on Friday.

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