John Brownlee ponders the future of iPad's hardware in “The iPad is a Solved Design Problem”:
But what now? Where do you go when you have created a device that is as powerful as most people's laptops, weighs less than a paperback, gets all-day battery life, features ultra high-resolution displays, costs less than $500, and is, in fact, only distinguishable from the next iPad by price and size? There are incremental refinements to look forward to, sure–some clock cycles here, some dropped ounces there–but if Apple's goal was to create a window, they have finally gotten to the point where they have stripped nearly everything away from that window's design besides the glass.
This is something I've long thought about in regards to the iPhone, but it applies to the iPad too.
I waffled back and forth between the iPad Air and the Retina iPad Mini, but I'm so happy I decided on the Air. In my opinion, the Air is the iPad Steve Jobs probably always dreamed of. It's thin, light, powerful, and has incredible battery life and an incredible display. It is, I think, the ideal iPad, at least in terms of hardware. At this point, it's hard to imagine how much truly better the hardware design could get. Internally, sure, but on the outside? Seems damn near perfect to me.
On the iPhone, however, I do worry about how Apple will evolve the hardware design. I'm not convinced I want the iPhone to someday be iPod Touch thin. I think Apple's quickly approaching a threshold in terms of size and weight; were my 5S to become any thinner and lighter, I'm concerned it'd be more uncomfortable to hold. Maybe I'm wrong, but as with the iPad, I think the iPhone's hardware is really close to perfect.1
That said, I would like rounded corners, a la my original iPhone and the iPhone 5C. ↩