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It was announced on Tuesday that the new iPad mini is compatible with Apple's Siri voice recognizing assistant, however owners of the now long-in-the-tooth iPad 2 still won't be able to access the feature.
With the announcement, it appears that Siri will never make it to the iPad 2, as the tablet was only mentioned in passing in a brief a comparison to the new iPad mini.
Looking at the technical specifications, the iPad mini boasts a number of improvements over the iPad 2, including upgraded cameras, extended wireless capabilities, and perhaps most important to some, a lower price tag.
What is identical, however, is the A5-series chip found in both tablets, a version of which is also used in the fifth-generation iPod touch. Unlike the iPad 2, however, the iPad mini and iPod touch sport Siri functionality.
It is unclear why Apple decided to once again pass over the iPad 2, though it could portend the inevitable axing of the product from the tablet line as it is more expensive and less capable than its newly-released sibling. The tablet is likely to be kept on as a "budget" model to the fourth-generation iPad, and could be phased out when the next full-size tablet is launched sometime next year.
The only feature trumped by the second-generation iPad is the size of its display, though as Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller pointed out, the mini's screen resolution is identical to the 9.7-inch iPad 2's, except condensed into a 7.9-inch format. According to those on hand at the event, the higher pixel density is noticeable, though not quite up to par with the full-size iPad's Retina display.
With almost every new device coming out of Cupertino being Siri capable, the iPad 2 stands out as a lonely carry-over product that is past its prime.