A new iPad from Apple is expected in early March, and consumers are quite opinionated about changes they'd like to see in one of the best-selling tech devices of the past few years.
We reached out to consumers for feedback. In a nutshell, they want a USB port to connect the iPad to other devices, a faster processor, expanded memory, better resolution and a lower price.
Apple's tablet, first introduced in 2010, rewrote computing, starting a trend toward portable post-PC devices that has resulted in sales of 55 million iPads to date, and a slew of new tablets from rivals, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samsung and others.
But Apple's iPad continues to dominate the category, with a 68 percent market share, according to researcher IDC.
Here are highlights of what consumers would like in the new iPad:
USB. "So that I can watch movies on a plane using my portable hard drive, or access files from that portable hard drive and utilize them on the iPad," says Randy Westfahl from Olathe, Kan.
Faster Internet. An iPad with 4G wireless Internet service. Current models have a 3G option. "What I want is not to have to haul around a 4G mobile hot spot when I'm traveling," said Wolf Butler, in a Facebook comment on the USA TODAY.com website. "Hotel and convention center Wi-Fi are expensive and usually awful. And 3G is mediocre for more than e-mail and text messages."
Lower pricing. "Make it cheaper, so I can get one," says Jo Miller, a tourist from Scotland, interviewed at the Manhattan Village shopping center in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Some readers came up with unique new uses for the iPad.
Lorie Simpson of Piqua, Ohio, would like a waterproof iPad, while Benjamin Wallace from Portland, Ore., suggests a "solar panel for a way to keep the battery charged."
Brian Calhoun, who lives near Orlando, would love to see a personal digital assistant, such as the iPhone 4S's Siri, on a new iPad. "It should have the option of changing its voice and speaking cadence to mimic celebrities such as Walter Cronkite, Jim Nabors, William Shatner and best of all, Christopher Walken," he says.
But not all consumers are convinced they need to add an iPad to their tech collections.
"The only way I'd get an iPad is if it was free," says Katrina Snow of Los Angeles. "I can do anything I want to do on the laptop. I don't see the need to buy anything extra."
Apple had no comment.
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