Apple CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage to introduce the iPad 2, which features a speedy A5 processor, thinner body, dual cameras and same pricing as the original iPad.
announced its next-generation iPad at a San Francisco event March 2, ending
months of speculation over how the company would advance its popular tablet.
Officially dubbed the iPad 2, the newest device includes hardware upgrades that
bring it level with the newest high-end competitors, most notably the Motorola Xoom.
In a twist
that surprised many audience members, in light of his recently announced leave
of absence for undisclosed medical reasons, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage
to unveil this latest offering. "I didn't want to miss it," he said, as media furiously live-blogged his comments
also provided a slightly delayed live stream.
painted a quick picture of Apple's inroads into the mobile scene: 100 million
iPhones shipped, $2 billion to developers in application sales, 200 million
accounts for the company's three online storefronts (iTunes, App Store and
iBooks), and 15 million iPads sold.
"Is 2011 going
to be the year of the copycats? I think if we did nothing, maybe a little bit,"
he said. "But we haven't been resting on our laurels."
That was the
cue for the iPad 2 to appear on the giant screen behind him. "What have we
learned? What can we improve?" Of the tablet, he said: "It's a complete new
design. First thing is: It's dramatically faster. We have a new chip we call
In addition to
a dual-core processor, the 9.7-inch iPad 2 includes a built-in gyroscope,
front- and rear-facing cameras. It weighs 1.3 pounds. "Now, having built in all
of this stuff, one of the most startling things about the iPad 2 is that it is
dramatically thinner," Jobs said. "A third thinner, 33 percent thinner."
That makes it
slimmer than the iPhone 4. The iPad 2's casing will also be offered in either
black or white. "We're going to be shipping white from day one," Jobs added.
"In addition to having both colors, we also have models that work with both
AT&T and Verizon's 3G network from day one."
with his pugnacious attitude toward other companies in the tablet space, Jobs
couldn't resist taking a backhand swipe at the Motorola Xoom, a 10.1-inch
Android tablet that retails for $799. Citing the prices for the various models
of iPad 2, which mirror those of the original iPad, he said: "Five of these six
models are less expensive than $799. We only have one model that's more
expensive than $799."
also offer a "smart cover" for the iPad 2, complete with magnets to grasp and
auto-align over the screen, which will wake the device upon opening and put it
to sleep when closed. The company is also tweaking the iPad's software with iOS
wireless streaming from PC to iPad, improvement tweaks to Airplay, and built-in
Photobooth and Facetime.
Both iOS 4.3
and the iPad 2 will be available March 11.
really revolutionary here," analyst Jack Gold wrote in a widespread note to
media following the Apple event. "What's still missing (and was expected to be
missing) was Flash support. This is a key differentiator for the Android (and
PlayBook) camps that provide Flash support."
will likely flock to the device, Gold added, "but I don't see any
overwhelmingly compelling capabilities that would make people sitting on the tablet
fence go out and have to buy one, despite some attractive apps. I don't see
this as heads above the competition (especially the Xoom) right now."
markedly ramped-up competition this year from not only the Motorola Xoom, but
also a variety of offerings from Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Dell Streak 7.
Google Android 3.0, code-named "Honeycomb," has been optimized for the tablet
form factor. However, the number of applications available for the Android
Marketplace still lags behind that of Apple's App Store.