Tablet computing has revolutionized field sales as we know it. This change can be felt throughout the consumer goods industry and across the broader retail landscape as sales reps, managers and even drivers leverage cellular technologies and consumer-inspired business apps to get their jobs done each day.

Tablet PC with cloud of application icons flying arround

While GreatVines Mobile is based on the HTML5 standard and essentially platform agnostic, many GreatVines clients rely on the convenience of using iPads, and each new version of the hardware has included significant performance improvements. Going from the 2nd generation to the 3rd, there were moderate gains, while significant boosts were a highlight of both the 4th generation and the Air.

One of the most pertinent hardware upgrades in the iPad line occurred in the 3rd generation, which was the first to receive 1GB of RAM vs 512MB on the previous generations. For this reason, the GreatVines mobile application is not supported on versions prior to the iPad 3rd Generation.

Also worth noting is that while the iPad 3rd and 4th generations and Air all have 1GB of memory, all memory is not created equal. The iPad Air utilizes 1GB of DDR3 RAM, which is a lower power and faster performing hardware.

This chart details the evolution of the CPU and SOC (system on chip) specifications on the various models, showing performance boosts from generation to generation.performanceipadair

iPad 2nd & 3rd Generations

While the iPad 3rd generation device did receive an upgrade to both its RAM and its SOC, it utilizes the same CPU as the iPad 2: 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. It is worth noting that the iPad 2 launched with this CPU on March 1st, 2011, making this CPU now effectively 3 years outdated.

iPad 4th Generation

The iPad 4th generation was released in November of 2012, finally receiving an upgrade to its CPU, and the first significant overall performance boost in the history of the product line.  This device has a marked improvement over the previous generations.

iPad Air

Released one year after the 4th generation device, the iPad Air consists of new CPU and SOC hardware, and continued significant leaps in performance. Rumors are that a 6th generation iPad may be released in the coming months along with the iPhone 6. From a GreatVines perspective, we would love to see an even faster CPU and memory increase, as these are the primary drivers behind the WebKit (Safari) which is at the heart of our HTML5 Cordova application.

The following table provides more technical details per device and an even more exhaustive list of specifications can be found on Wikipedia.

Model iPad 2 iPad (3rd generation) iPad (4th generation) iPad Air
Model Number


A1395 (WiFi) A1397 (WiFi + 3G CDMA) A1396 (WiFi + 3G GSM) A1416 (WiFi) A1403 (WiFi + Cellular VZ) A1430 (WiFi + Cellular) A1458 (WiFi) A1459 (WiFi + Cellular) A1460 (WiFi + Cellular MM) A1474 (WiFi) A1475 (WiFi + Cellular)
Status Discontinued Discontinued Available Available
Announcement date March 2, 2011[44] 3/7/2012 16, 32, 64 GB: October 23, 2012 128 GB: January 29, 2013 10/22/2013
Release date March 11, 2011[112] 3/16/2012 16, 32, 64 GB: November 2, 2012 128 GB: February 5, 2013 16 GB re-released: March 18, 2014 11/1/2013
Discontinued 32, 64 GB: March 7, 2012 16 GB: March 18, 2014 10/23/2012 16, 32, 64, 128 GB: October 22, 2013 16 GB re-released: In production In production
Launch Price Wi-Fi models: 16 GB $499, 32 GB $599, 64 GB $699 Wi-Fi + 3G models: 16 GB $629, 32 GB $729, 64 GB $829 Wi-Fi models: 16 GB $499, 32 GB $599, 64 GB $699 Wi-Fi + Cellular models: 16 GB $629, 32 GB $729, 64 GB $829 Wi-Fi models: 16 GB $499, 32 GB $599, 64 GB $699, 128 GB $799 Wi-Fi + Cellular models: 16 GB $629, 32 GB $729, 64 GB $829, 128 GB $929 Wi-Fi models: 16 GB $499, 32 GB $599, 64 GB $699, 128 GB $799 Wi-Fi + Cellular models: 16 GB $629, 32 GB $729, 64 GB $829, 128 GB $929
SoC Apple A5 Apple A5X[113] Apple A6X Apple A7
Motion coprocessor N/A N/A N/A Apple M7
CPU 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.4 GHz dual-core AppleSwift 1.4 GHz dual-core AppleCyclone
GPU Dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 Quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 Quad-core PowerVR SGX554MP4 Quad-core PowerVRG6430[114]
Memory 512 MB DDR2 RAM (1066 Mbit/sdata rate) built into Apple A5 package[9] 1024 MB LPDDR2 RAM 1024 MB LPDDR3 RAM