If all the rumours swirling around the internet are true then its looks like the next generation iPad (iPad 2) will feature an integral USB port as well as a thinner and lighter chassis, front and rear cameras and a high-resolution display.
Of course, in the run up to a formal announcement in January, these are just rumours for now but, the inclusion of a
USB port would open up all sort of interesting possibilities not least for the promotional USB market. The profile of the typical iPad user shows a bias towards men in the 30-54 age range with higher than average earnings thus making them a very appealing marker for advertisers.
Today thousands of companies give away millions of promotional USB memory sticks that are printed with their brand and in a growing number of cases the memory sticks are stuffed full of pre-loaded files before being given away. These pre-loaded files are often media files (movie clips, audio files) as well as sales brochures, press releases, product sheets and so on. At the moment advertisers cannot specifically target iPad users with USB sticks but if the rumours circulating about iPad2 are true then all of a sudden an attractive market opens itself up.
Whilst a significant amount of content can of course be delivered directly to the iPad over the web there are a significant number of iPads being sold with only WiFi connectivity and for these users the ability to download files from a USB stick would be an attractive option. Even those with 3G contracts are likely to appreciate the speed and convenience of uploading files locally from a USB stick.
Like all rumours they could be unfounded. Of all the talked about enhancements likely to appear in the next generation iPad the talk of a USB port is the one that has the user market most excited and inevitably it’s the one that’s most likely not to happen. All we can do for now is sit and wait for the official announcements!