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By • Mar 7th, 2011 • Category: Computers & Internet

The wait is over for eager Apple fans wanting the next-generation iPad called iPad 2 which is expected to be a hot seller tablet. The new tablet iPad2 price start from $499 and will go on sale in the U.S. on March 11. The original iPad, which went on sale last April, is now $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version of the product. The  16GB iPad 3G price is $529. Apple will begin shipping the iPad 2 internationally to 26 countries starting March 25.


The iPad 2 features two cameras and is faster with dual-core processors. They just about double CPU performance and make the graphics speed 9 times faster, while using the same power as the processor from the first iPad. The iPad 2 is thinner than the older model. It went from 13.4mm in thickness on the old iPad to 8.8mm in thickness on the new one. And it works not only on AT&T’s 3G network, but also Verizon Wireless’ 3G network.

The iPad 2 will also get some new features thanks to the latest release of the operating system, iOS 4.3. This upgrade brings a few new features like AirPlay support for apps that will include photo slideshows and porting audio from apps to other devices. Safari performance will be improved. This upgrade also adds the personal hot-spot feature that was introduced for Verizon iPhone owners.

Other major tweaks include a software option to adjust whether the switch on the iPad is used to mute the volume, or lock the screen orientation, functionality Apple had changed after the iPad had been released.

In terms of the iPad 2 technical specifications, the device is 9.5 inches high, 7.3 inches wide, and 0.34 inches deep. And it weighs just 1.33 pounds. It comes in three storage sizes for both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi +3G models: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB. And the rear camera is 720p and the front camera is “VGA-quality” suitable for video and still photography.
Apple also introduced some new iPad 2 accessories . The first is an HDMI video-out option that will allow people to port video out of the device and mirror what happens on another screen. Jobs said this was a big request from teachers. It will cost $39 and works with all apps.
The “Smart Covers” ipad 2 is a new case bendable flap that sticks onto the side of the device. It wakes up the iPad from sleep when you open it, and puts it to sleep when you close it. The cover uses magnets to grasp onto the unit, and align it. “You can add it in a second. You can remove it in a second,” Jobs said. The new case comes in five colors for the polyurethane version, and five as well for the leather. The polyurethane case is is $39, and the leather one is $69.

Also new to the iPad 2 are some applications, including Apple’s iMovie and GarageBand applications, which are available for its Macs. The Apple iMovie app for the iPad will allow people to edit video right on their iPad . While the Garage Band app, which helps teach people how to play musical instruments.

The “Post-PC” era
Apple created a new category of product with the iPad, doing what others before it had been unable to do. In short, it successfully convinced consumers that they needed something in between a smartphone and a laptop or desktop.

Apple’s Jobs noted this accomplishment. But he added that the iPad goes beyond being just another computing device. And while competitors focus on technical specs of their own products in this new category, Apple is still focused on providing an experience.

“Apple has done something pretty special,” he said in the interview. “They have convinced consumers to buy a product that they don’t really need. They’ve taken smartphones, which is a kind necessary product, and laptops and desktops and sort of forced them aside to make a new market.”

Not only does Apple already have a significant lead in tablet sales compared to its competitors, it also has a lead in terms of applications offered for the device. Apple now has more than 65,000 apps that are made just for the iPad, Jobs said today. Meanwhile, Google has just released Android 3.0 OS, which is designed for tablets. And so far Google has far fewer applications that are specific to the tablet format in its marketplace. Jobs estimates the current number of apps for a Google tablet is only about 100.

Still, Google has proven to be a formidable competitor in the smartphone market. The Android operating system, which has been on the market for only a couple of years, is now on nearly 50 percent of smartphones shipped in the U.S. And the platform is gaining ground globally. The platform could prove popular for the tablet market as more manufacturers release products using the software.

The most threatening competition could come from the top handset and computer manufacturers. Motorola is just now releasing its Xoom tablet, built on the latest version of the Google Android OS. Samsung has its Galaxy Tab line of products, which are also based on Android. Hewlett-Packard will introduce its WebOS-powered TouchPad this summer. Microsoft is also looking to get into the tablet market with a new OS that will bring Windows to the tablet form factor. And Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, is also set to introduce its tablet called the PlayBook.

from: cnet.com

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