Apple’snew iPad is finally here! Just moments ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the tablet on stage, and it indeed features an unbelievable 9.7-inch Retina Display with 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution. Existing iPad apps will be scaled up automatically until they’re updated for the new display. It looks like the form factor has not changed significantly, which is consistent with dozens of rumors and reports leading up to today’s unveiling. The new iPad also features Apple’s new quad-core A5X processor, an SoC that includes dramatic improvements where graphics performance is concerned. Carrying over from the iPhone 4S is a much improved backlit rear camera that will capture 5-megapixel photos. There’s even 1080p HD video capture support with built-in stabilization. Siri won’t be making it to the iPad yet but there’s absolutely voice dictation, and Apple also added 4G LTE support that will work on both AT&T and Verizon Wireless here in the U.S. Hit the break for more.
Apple’s new iPad will support 4G LTE download speeds of up to 72Mbps, and it also includes a new personal hotspot feature as long as the carrier allows it. 3G support is included as well since 4G LTE networks around the world are still in their infancy. In terms of battery life, we’re looking at up to 9 hours of continuous usage on 4G and up to 10 hours on 3G. And as expected, pricing lines up exactly with the previous-generation iPad 2: $499, $599 and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, respectively, with cellular connectivity adding $130 to the price of each model.
Apple updated its iWork suite to coincide with today’s news, and the new versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote are each $9.99 as they were before, or free for owners of the previous versions. Garage Band has been updated with a new “Smart Strings” feature and sharing, and iMovie has been updated with new features and support for Apple’s Retina Display and 1080p HD content.
Also unveiled a new version of iPhoto for the iPad at today’s press conference, complete with photo effects, gesture support, multitouch photo editing and iCloud support. iPhoto will be available for $4.99 in the App Store beginning today. The new iPad will become available for pre-order starting today, and it will launch on March 16th as previously reported. Apple’s full press release follows below.
“Apple® today introduced the new iPad®, the third generation of its category defining mobile device, featuring a stunning new Retina™ display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast networks worldwide, including AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G LTE networks, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light. Beginning today, iPad 2 will be offered at an even more affordable price starting at just $399.
“The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.”
The new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased color saturation the new iPad displays colors that are unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an incomparable viewing experience on a mobile device.
The powerful new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a superb balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the stunning new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch™ interface, immersive gameplay, incredible visual depth and all-day battery life that iPad is known for delivering.
The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking stunning pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and easily shared with friends and family using the built-in Photos app on iPad.
iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers blazing download and upload speeds so web pages load incredibly quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB**.
With iOS 5.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes® in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone®, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices. When content changes on one of your devices, your other devices are updated automatically.
The new iPad also supports dictation, another amazing way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.
Apple also introduced the iPhoto® app, along with major updates to iMovie® and GarageBand®, completing its suite of iLife® apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork® apps, Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers®, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create amazing Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.
iPad runs almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store™, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps, from a wide range of categories, including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store® puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 20 million songs, over 90,000 TV episodes and over 15,000 movies. The new iBooks® 2 app for iPad lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more.”