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March 11, 2011

iPad 2 Preview

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Steve Jobs recently came back from his sick leave to discuss the launch of Apple’s new iPad 2, a minor update to Apple’s tablet device. The original iPad has done very well all across the world, but with many competitors releasing their own tablet alternatives, Apple had to step their game up. In all honesty, there were no major surprises at all. The iPad goes from being a large iPhone 3GS to a large iPhone 4. All of the features, specs, accessories, and applications were all previously discussed by many different rumor sites and other sources.

Here are my initial reactions to the iPad 2, which are based on watching live blogs during the announcement event. We will also review the iPad 2 in the coming weeks. 2010 was “the year of the iPad.” Apple claims that over 15 million units were shipped. This is more than “every Tablet PC ever sold,” Jobs claimed. Currently, the iPad has over a 90 % market share. There were only a tiny number of competitors in the market when the original iPad was released. There are over 65,000 iPad specific apps available now.

The iPad 2 is basically a small evolutionary update over the original device. However Jobs labeled it an “all new design.” So what can you expect from the iPad 2?

-There is a new A5 CPU that is dual-core and “twice” as fast as the processor in the original.
-Graphics are “nine times” faster.
-Power consumption is the same as with the original.
-Front and rear cameras.
-Built-in gyroscope.
-It’s one-third thinner than the original, 13.4 mm down to 8.8 mm. (“Thinner than the iPhone 4.”)
-Lighter too. All as expected

What can you expect to spend?

Apple typically keeps the price the same and bumps up capacities. This time, they kept the price AND the storage capacities the same.
Wi-Fi versions are:
$499 (16 GB)
$599 (32 GB)
$699 (64 GB)

Wi-Fi + 3G versions are:
$629 (16 GB),
$729 (32 GB),
$829 (64 GB).

The iPad 2 has been officially released in Canada, and across the world as of today.

iPad 2 accessories:
Apple announced two intriguing new accessories for the iPad 2. The first is an HDMI out cable that provides a mirror image to the iPad 2 display, not just for video and audio, but also for apps. You can now play iPad 2 games / video on an HDTV, which is pretty cool. The cable and iPad 2 also supports up to 1080p.

The iPad 2 will run iOS 4.3. You can expect improved Safari performance. iTunes home sharing and AirPlay improvements. Apple also announced some new iOS 4.3 apps: Photo Booth, FaceTime, iMovie, and Garage Band (all as on the Mac).

It’ll be interesting to see how well the new iPad 2 will do. Will iPad owners buy the new device? Or is it just the same device with a couple of cameras attached. Time will tell, but I assume Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market.

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