Friday, March 9, 2012

Apple unveils new iPad

Although the new device has been long rumored to be "iPad 3" or "iPad HD", Apple did not give a name to the third-generation tablet, just calling it the "new iPad."

Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, introduced the new iPad. The device runs on A5X chip, in which X is for quad-core graphics. The Retina Display offers a resolution of 2048 by 1536 or 3.1 million pixels, which is four times as the number of pixels of iPad 2 and makes human eye unable to distinguish individual pixels at a normal distance.

The new camera has a 5-megapixel sensor, using some of the same technology in iPhone 4S camera, and can shoot 1080p videos.

As expected, the new iPad is Apple's first 4G device, delivering faster loading speeds and making email with large attachments sent and received easily. The new tablet can also be used as personal hotspot to share its network connection with up to five other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

The new iPad supports dictation, which is similar to the artificial intelligent assistant Siri on iPhone 4S.

Also at the event, Apple introduced several new software updates, such as iPhoto, iWork, iMovie and GarageBank, to demo the impressive experience on the new iPad.

The new iPad is 9.4 mm-thick and 1.4 pounds. The battery life is around 10 hours and 9 hours on 4G. Coming with two colors of black and white, the price will be the same as the existing models.

The previous generation of iPad 2 will remain in the product line so that more people can afford the "groundbreaking technology," said Schiller. The price of 16 GB, Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 model is reduced to 399 U.S. dollars. The Wi-Fi model of the new iPad starts at 499 dollars while the Wi-Fi plus 4G version starts at 629 dollars.

Customers can begin pre-ordering the new iPads starting from Wednesday. According to Apple, the new models will be available on March 16 in the United States, as well as in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, China's Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, Britain and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Speaking at the event, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said the industry is in a post-PC era when portable devices become the center of the world instead of PC. Cook said in the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads, more than personal computer units shipped from all the major PC makers, including Acer, Dell, Lenovo and HP.