Mar 112011

Apple’s evolutionary new iPad 2 goes on sale on Friday 11 March 2011 as the gadget-maker seeks to stay one step ahead of its rivals, Motorola Xoom, Research in Motion’s Playbook and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab in the booming touchscreen tablet market. In the launch event of the iPad 2, a confident Steve Jobs took to the stage to declare that 2010 was the year of the iPad and that 2011 will be the year of the copycat; declaring the iPad 2 the best tablet to hit the market and one that will leave competitors “flummoxed”.

Apple began taking online orders early this morning for the iPad 2, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled on 2 March 2011, and the device is to go on sale at the company’s 236 USA stores starting at 5 p.m. Purchases are limited to 2 devices per customer; for online orders shipping will take between 2-3 weeks.

Apple has said that it sold more than 300,000 of the original iPad on the day it launched less than a year ago.
With iPad 1 selling more than 15 million in its first nine months on sale, including 7.3 million to holiday shoppers during the October-December quarter, analysts do not expect this new product to attract the same level of excitement, but expect sales to be quite impressive. Apple is set to sell 600, 000 iPad 2 units this weekend. The International Data Corperation (IDC) has calculated that nearly 18 million media tablets were shipped in 2010 with Apple capturing 83% share.

The new iPad 2 model comes with several improvements over the original version but the same price tag — $499 to $829, depending on storage capacity and whether they can connect to the internet over a mobile network. The iPad 2 is, however, significantly faster, slimmer and lighter, and now includes two cameras for video calling and photographs. It is also available in black and white. Here is a summary of some salient features of the all-new iPad 2:

iPad Design

  • Size: The iPad 2 is 33% thinner – 8.8mm thick, which makes it even thinner than the iPhone 4. It is encased in an aluminum material making it 15% light at 1.3 pounds.
  • Dual-core A5 chip: The new processor will make the iPad twice as fast with 9x faster graphics – however will use the same low power as the original A4chip.
  • Battery Life: It has the same 10 hour battery life as the original with a month of standby.
  • Dual-facing camera: Making it perfect for face-time and video conferencing.
  • Gyroscope: Opening it up to the wide array of gaming options.

Accessories for iPad 2

  • HDMI Adapter: There is now a HDMI accessory cable for video out that supports 1080p, needs no setup, works with all apps and will also charge your iPad. ($39).
  • Smart Covers: The iPad will come with thin smart cover that folds back with magnets into a typing stand or a kickstand for watching videos. When you open it, it wakes up the iPad. When you close it, it puts the iPad to sleep. It will be available in10 bright colors: 5 in polyurethane and 5 in five in rich, aniline-dyed Italian leather. Clearly Apple are eying the sizable iPad covers market.
  • iOS 4.3: The new OS brings many enhancements and features and will be available on 11 March. It will run JavaScript twice as fast and has dramatically increased the performance of Safari .
  • iTunes Home Sharing: Thanks to many AirPlay enhancements you can stream iTunes from your computer to your iPad, iPhone or iPad Touch. You can also instantly stream Apple TV wirelessly to your iPad and share photos with slideshow transitions with different apps.
  • Tethering: iPhone 4 owners will be able to share their 3G internet connections over Wi-Fi to other devices — including laptops.
  • Photo Booth: A separate Photo Booth app for recording pictures and videos.
  • FaceTime: Now you can FaceTime between one iPad and another iPad, Mac, iPhone or iPod touch.

New iPad Apps

  • iMovie: The iMovie app allows large-screen multi-touch editing of HD videos. It supports multiple audio tracks and three new themes: Neon, Simple and CNN Report. Your iPad is basically an independent short movie studio with this app. Get a microUSB compatible boom mic and a stand for the iPad and iMovie’s automatic face detection and panning effect support will do the rest. Videos created with iMovie can be sent via email, MMS or MobileMe. You can also send them to your HTDV via Apple TV or export them to your mac or PC. There’s also full iTunes support, so you can shoot video on your iPhone and then edit and upload via your iPad 2 ($4.99).
  • GarageBand: Do you want to use your iPad 2 as a keyboard, drumset, synthesizer or guitar? Well now it is possible. A precision audio app that is also compatible with your Mac. It comes with nearly every instrument and audio adjustment feature you can think of. It will allow for a wide variety of audio projects like podcasts and music mixing. ($4.99).

It is the huge choice from over 65, 000 apps that greatly enhance the end-user experience of the iPad compared with tablets using Android 3.0’s 100 apps to date. would welcome comments from early adopter iPad and new iPad 2 owners to learn more about their experiences of these sensational tablets.

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