Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is taking a leave of absence from the company, returned to unveil the new product, which is expected to be a hot seller.
As anticipated, the new tablet has two cameras and is faster with dual-core processors. They just about double CPU performance and make the graphics speed 9 times faster, while using the same power as the processor from the first iPad. The iPad 2 is thinner than the older model. It went from 13.4mm in thickness on the old iPad to 8.8mm in thickness on the new one. And it works not only on AT&T's 3G network, but also Verizon Wireless' 3G network.
In terms of the technical specifications, the device is 9.5 inches high, 7.3 inches wide, and 0.34 inches deep. And it weighs just 1.33 pounds. It comes in three storage sizes for both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi +3G models: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB. And the rear camera is 720p and the front camera is "VGA-quality" suitable for video and still photography.
The new tablet will go on sale in the U.S. on March 11 and will start at $499. The original iPad, which went on sale last April, is now $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version of the product. The 3G version of the 16GB iPad is $529. Apple will begin shipping the iPad 2 internationally to 26 countries starting March 25.
The iPad 2 will also get some new features thanks to the latest release of the operating system, iOS 4.3. This upgrade brings a few new features like AirPlay support for apps that will include photo slideshows and porting audio from apps to other devices. Safari performance will be improved. This upgrade also adds the personal hot-spot feature that was introduced for Verizon iPhone owners. Other major tweaks include a software option to adjust whether the switch on the iPad is used to mute the volume, or lock the screen orientation, functionality Apple had changed after the iPad had been released.
The iOS 4.3 software version will be available on March 11, and it supports iPad, iPhone (GSM), and iPod Touch (third and fourth generation).
Apple also introduced some new accessories to the iPad 2. The first is an HDMI video-out option that will allow people to port video out of the device and mirror what happens on another screen. Jobs said this was a big request from teachers. It will cost $39 and works with all apps.
But considering the release Ipad recently, its too early for IPad 2. Apple fans all over the world never would've thought of the next IPad coming soon after the release of its pre-model. The answer to the question that why Apple made the move a bit too quickly is still rounding on everyone's head. The cause most probably is the release of the Motorola Xoom which is a tablet PC equipped with interesting features and a fast processor which was quite a better opponent for the Apple IPad. Well, the news is really a happy one for all and but, will it be able to beat the Xoom? Let's wait to find out!