Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the new iPad during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. AFP
To much fanfare, Apple just announced the new iPad - yep, that's what its called. So what is new this time?
A mammoth resolution (The folks at Apple are Resolutionaries, afterall): 2048x1536, which surpasses even HD (1920x1080), and as they quipped in the event - The New iPad has a resolution higher than the huge display being used for the announcement. That makes it 3.1 million at 264 pixels per inch. The clarity and depth of imagery will be astounding.
Obviously, such amazing display will need to be backed up by suitable graphics hardware, or else the performance will be lacking. And Apple doesn't disappoint. The new A5X is a dual-core processor, with quad-core graphics. That solves a little mystery around the battery consumption though. What this should mean is that though the executionary performance of the new iPad will not be immense compared to the previous iPad 2; all visual eye-candy and that monster of a resolution would be well supported. Apple's new iPad unveiled
iOS has already proven to be an app galore with the marketplace crossing the 25 billion download mark recently and almost 20% of the market is just games. Does that make the new iPad a gaming console from Apple? Now that it can compete with the only-HD XBox 360 and PS3.
Another feature that iPad excels is in the new 4G LTE integration. Running at whopping speeds of 73mbps, 4G LTE networks will really push the drive to consume forward. The camera from the iPhone 4S also makes its way to the iPad (now called the iSight), but I am not very excited about it (Did you hear about that new camera from Nokia?). It was expected. Video recording jumps up to 1080p too. That should keep a lot of families busy.
Interestingly, and to my annoyance, only Dictation made its way to the new iPad. I had my fantasies of Siri making its way to the new iPad and allowing for some really innovative applications. All of this and it still manages 10 hours of battery life.
All in all, the new iPad is the next step in the evolution of the franchise and brings in an awesome display, with the power to make that punch last. Yet, how does that change things?
What really interested me throughout the event was this new shift in Apple priorities. So Apple is releasing the new iPad, across more than 8 countries on March 16, including Japan. Siri can now work with multiple languages including French, German and Japanese.
This would be Apple's biggest rollout yet. The strategy to get the product across to as many customers as possible, in as wide as a spectrum as possible is, in many ways, a first for Apple. And then there is the promise of the future. "2012 - There's a lot to look for" begins with the new iPad and things can only get exciting from here.