Amid Fanfare, Apple Unveils iPad 2
In front of a large, expectant crowd in San Fransisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs today unveiled the newest iteration of the company's market-leading tablet, the iPad 2.
Jobs said the iPad 2 sports an "all new design, not tweaks," and is dramatically faster, with a dual-core, A5 chip (the original had an A4 chip). As rumored, the tablet features front and back-facing cameras, a gyroscope like the iPhone's and is "dramatically" thinner—by 33 percent, down to 8.8 mm—and lighter, while maintaining the same 10-hour battery life as its predecessor. Also of note is a new video-out HDMI cable, allowing for easy connectivity with external monitors.
The new iPad also will sport two colors (black and white). Models for AT&T and Verizion (for those looking for 3G connectivity) will be available from day one—which, in the U.S., will be March 11th.
Jobs' appearance on stage was the first surprise of the event, as many were expecting to see Apple's Tim Cook, who was appointed acting CEO in January while Jobs went on a medical leave of absence.
Jobs took the high-profile opportunity to tout the reach of Apple's App Store, which now features 65,000 apps—compared to what Jobs said was 100 for Google's Honeycomb tablet operating system. He also said the three Apple Stores—iBooks, iTunes and the App Store—manage 200 million accounts total, which could be larger than Amazon.
"People weren't sure the iPad was magical ... well, ask our competitors what they think now," Jobs said, noting that in its first nine months Apple sold 15 million iPads—and saw $9.5 billion in revenue.
"Many have said this is the most successful consumer electronics device ever sold...We think 2011 will be the year of iPad 2."