Apple debuts new, higher-resolution iPad
Apple Inc. on Wednesday confounded the prognosticators by announcing its newest iPad -- without a new name.
Widespread speculation had been divided between iPad 3 and iPad HD as a name for the new product, but Apple referred to the newborn of its line of tablet computers simply as "the new iPad."
Despite lacking a fancy moniker, the new tablet does have several impressive new features, the most notable being a dazzling new screen reportedly sporting better resolution than an HD TV.
Apple's Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said the new screen with 264 pixels per inch has 1 million more pixels than an HD TV. The screen will display 1080p high definition video.
The new tablet is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2 due to the increased battery power needed to drive the screen.
A second improvement, one that fixes a major deficit compared to Android mobile devices, is the ability to operate on cellular carriers' 4G high speed cellular data networks. Connectivity with the high speed networks is particularly important for smooth streaming of video over a cellular link.
Other improvements in the new tablet:
• Faster processor for graphics, twice as fast as the iPad 2.
• 5 megapixel rear camera and new software borrowed from the iPhone4 S.
• 1080p high definition video recording.
• Voice dictation, thanks to a microphone button on the iPad's virtual keyboard, but no Siri at this point.
Apple's new CEO Tim Cook revealed the new iPad at an afternoon event in San Francisco. He opened the presentation talking about the "post-PC future," referring to the personal computers that dominated the industry for years, and saying Apple has three post-PC products -- the iPad, iPod and iPhone -- that make up 76 percent of its revenue.
"Apple has its feet firmly planted in the post-PC future," he said.
A new version of the Apple TV video streaming box also was announced, featuring the ability to display 1080p video.
The new iPad will go on sale March 16, as will the new Apple TV. The iPad will start at $499, the same pricing structure as the iPad 2. Price on the Apple TV will remain at $99.
Apple also announced improvements to its iCloud Internet storage and sharing scheme, which will now support movies in addition to music and TV shows. Movies and TV shows will be available in 1080p.
Mr. Schiller said Apple's iWorks applications are being updated and iPhoto, photo editing software, is being brought to the iPad for the first time.
First Published 2012-03-07 23:44:32