Apple has ended months of speculation by officially unveiling the iPad 2, company’s most anticipated second-gen tablet that will start shipping Stateside on March 11th and March 25th in other countries, with prices as follows: $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB), add $130 for 3G. The formal announcement which took place this morning at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California was super exciting, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs surprisingly taking the stage himself.
The iPad2 is only 8.8mm thick, 33% thinner than the original one (and thinner than iPhone 4), weighs 1.35 pounds, and has that same 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS display (Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating) that offers a full capacitive touch screen, supported by 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch. Apple promising a “nine times faster on graphics” 1GHz custom built A5 (dual-core) chip (twice faster on cpu), while tablet capacities are claimed to be the same traditional ones, at 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of flash storage.
The iPad2 comes either in black or White hues, with 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 plus EDR technology, as well as a large speaker on its back, microphone, 512MB or RAM, and a 30-pin dock connector, downstairs. The new iPad will also be available in a 3G flavor with speeds up to 7.2Mbps, while battery life is estimated at 10 hours or so. In addition, the industry giant and innovator says “…that 2011 will be the year of iPad 2” with 65,000 apps compared to 100 only on Google’s Honeycomb.
So, what else is new in iPad 2, you ask? Well, there are two built-in cameras inside, one on rear, capable recording a 720p video at 30fps, and a front-facing one, supporting 5x digital zoom. Some cool accessories that Apple is tossing, such as the HDMI video out which will run for $39, and a stunning smart cover case, made of materials like micro-fiber and “magnet” elements – that’s $39 for the plastic version or $69 for the leather.
Software wise, iOS 4.3 being announced (available for download on March 11, free of charge) with new iTunes Home Sharing features, Airplay updates, and Nitro Javscript Safari improvements, delivering much faster surfing results. Other than that, we’re looking at the new ability to “share your 3G connection via wifi” which is best known as Mifi personal hotspot, a lovely revamped Photo Booth edition, supporting nine live video streams at once, Apple’s FaceTime feature for video conferencing purposes , a whole new version of iMovie, that takes advantage of the iPad’s big screen (about $4.99) and the most famous “touch instruments” OS X app, GarageBand that will join the lineup with 8track recording, 250+ loops, effects, amps and plenty stuff more for a very small price tag ($4.99).
So there you go ladies and gentlemen. Who’s buying the new iPad and who’s not?
Hit the jump for the video introductions along some few more pics and full PR notes.
Apple Launches iPad 2
All New Design is Thinner, Lighter & Faster with FaceTime, Smart Covers & 10 Hour Battery
SAN FRANCISCO-March 2, 2011-Apple® today introduced iPad™ 2, the next generation of its magical device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading ebooks and much more. iPad 2 features an entirely new design that is 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the original iPad, while maintaining the same stunning 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. iPad 2 features Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics and now includes two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime® and Photo Booth®, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video, bringing the innovative FaceTime feature to iPad users for the first time. Though it is thinner, lighter, faster and packed with new features, iPad 2 still delivers up to 10 hours of battery life* that users have come to expect. iPad 2 is available in black or white, features models that run on AT&T’s and Verizon’s 3G networks, and introduces the innovative iPad 2 Smart Cover in a range of vibrant polyurethane and rich leather colors.
“With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.”
With the new front and rear cameras, iPad 2 users can now make FaceTime calls to millions of iPhone® 4, iPod touch® and Mac® users so they can see family and friends anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Photo Booth lets you apply fun visual effects, including eight photo special effects like Squeeze, Twirl and Kaleidoscope, to photos captured by either camera.
iPad 2 comes with iOS 4.3, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, with new features including faster Safari® mobile browsing performance; iTunes® Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay®;** the choice to use the iPad side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute audio; and Personal Hotspot to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.*** Additional iPad 2 features include a built-in gyro for advanced gaming; HSUPA support for enhanced 3G upload speeds on iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G on AT&T, and HDMI Video Mirroring that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor.
The innovative new iPad 2 Smart Cover provides protection for the iPad screen while maintaining its thin and lightweight profile. Designed with a unique self-aligning magnetic hinge that makes it easy to attach and remove, the new iPad 2 Smart Cover automatically wakes iPad 2 when it’s opened and puts it to sleep when it’s closed, and has a soft microfiber lining to help keep the screen clean. The Smart Cover also folds into a stand for typing or viewing videos and is available in vibrant polyurethane for $39 or rich leather for $69 in a range of colors, including a (PRODUCT) RED one which helps support the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Apple also introduced two new apps: iMovie® and GarageBand® for iPad, both available on the App Store℠ for just $4.99 each. With iMovie, iPad 2 users can shoot and edit videos right on their iPad and post their movies to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and their MobileMe℠ gallery; watch them on their iPod®, iPhone or iPad; as well as view them on their HDTV using AirPlay and Apple TV®. GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of touch instruments and 8-track recording studio, allowing you to perform with onscreen keyboards, guitars, drums and basses using multi-touch gestures–even if you don’t play a musical instrument.
iPad 2 runs almost all of the over 350,000 apps available on the App Store and there are more than 65,000 native iPad apps available from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store gives iPad users access to the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 14 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 10,000 films including over 3,500 in stunning high definition video. The iBooks® app for iPad includes Apple’s iBookstore℠, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device.
Pricing & Availability
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G compatible with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 will be sold in the US through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iMovie and GarageBand for iPad apps will be available on March 11 for $4.99 each from the App Store on iPad or www.itunes.com/appstore.
iPad 2 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on March 25; and in many more countries around the world in the coming months. Further international availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.
*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
**AirPlay video requires second generation Apple TV running the latest software.
***Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.