Apple launches 'new iPad'

The new iPad comes with 4G support, a retina display and a fresh, powerful processor.

Apple did the expected this evening by launching the "new iPad", featuring a range of fresh features to titillate fans of the world's top selling tablet.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, took to the stage to unveil the shiny new tablet talking up the "post-PC" revolution and the added technologies in the refreshed iPad, including 4G support delivering 73Mbps over LTE. The new iPad can also do 42Mbps over HSPA+.

Pre-orders start today for the iPad, which will go on general sale on 16 March.

We think the iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world.

It will cost the same as the iPad 2, with the 16GB model starting at 399, 32GB at 479 and 64GB at 559.

iPad Wi-Fi + 4G will be available for 499 for the 16GB model, 579 for the 32GB and 659 for the 64GB.

Feature rundown

As well as a retina display, the iPad delivers 264 pixels per inch at 2047 x 1536 pixels. According to Apple, that is one million more pixels than HDTV.

"To this day no one has yet matched that display technology on any mobile device. We're going to bring it to the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad," said Apple's senior vice president of global marketing Phil Schiller.

iPad

The company announced fresh power capabilities in the tablet too, with an A5X chip with quad-core graphics, but keeping the dual-core CPU of the iPad 2.

"The Apple A5 was already twice as fast... this is a graphics power house," Schiller said.

As for cameras, there is now a 5MP one on the back, with backside illumination - a kind of digital image sensor that increases the amount of light captured and thus improve low-light performance.

The camera is also supported by built-in auto-focus and automatic face detection.

As for battery life, Apple said the new iPad would deliver the same as the iPad 2 at 10 hours. On 4G, users should get nine hours, Apple claimed.

The device measures in at 9.4mm and 1.4lbs. It can also act as a wireless hotspot for five other devices.

As for iPad software, iOS 5.1 was announced and is available today, with a redesigned camera app with video stabilisation technology and support for dictation.

There was an update for GarageBand, with four iOS devices now able to collaborate on audio projects over Wi-Fi.

Improved iMovie tools were announced too, with added editing functionality.

iPhoto got some updates too, with multitouch editing and a new interface.

iPads, iPhones and iPods make up most of Apple's revenue today. Like Cook said this evening, 76 per cent of revenues come from those devices, 127 million of which were sold in 2011.

"We think the iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world," Cook said, noting 15.4 million were shipped in the last quarter of 2011, more than any PC maker sold PCs.

The price of the iPad 2 has also been reduced to 329 for the 16GB version.

Fancy a new TV?

As predicted, Apple also introduced a new Apple TV, with iTunes now supporting 1080p. It will cost 99 and will be made available on the same day as the new iPad.

The newest Apple TV will also have a fresh interface and support iTunes Match, meaning users will be able to sync their content.

"Just like we've done for music and TV shows, you now have access to movies you've already purchased in iCloud," said Eddie Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services.

Unsurprisingly, reaction to the new iPad has been mixed, but uSwitch's Ernest Doku sang its praises.

"Judged on specs alone, the new iPad truly is streets ahead of the other leading tablets on the market, before factoring in the competitive price point and wealth of software on the App Store," he said.

"The addition of 4G capability is more relevant for the US market at the moment, but it shows how much Apple is really future-proofing its new tablet."

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