Apple’s new iPad

Apple on Wednesday announced a new iPad to replace iPad 2. The new tablet sports a 9.7-inch ‘retina display’ with 2047 x 1536 pixels and is powered by A5X, a processor with 2 CPU cores and 4 GPU cores. The new iPad will go on sale on March 16 with price starting from $499 in the US and nine other countries.

In India, the tablet is likely to be launched in a few months.

Apple also announced that iPad 2 will remain in the market and its price will be cut by $100. This means that the basic model of iPad 2 will now cost $399. However, at the moment it is not clear if iPad 2 in India will also see a price cut in immediate future because the new iPad may not go on sale in the country for at least a few months.

“Everyone’s been wondering who will come out with a tablet that is better than the iPad 2? Everyone’s been wondering this,” said Tim Cook. “Well, stop wondering. We are.”

The company said that the tablet would support LTE connectivity (4G) when it is available. In India, only 3G is supported at the moment. However, despite LTE being a more power-hungry technology, Apple said the iPad would still offer at least nine hours of battery life.

The tablet also comes with an improved rear camera that will be able to record full HD (1080P) videos. Called iSight, the camera will shoot pictures in 5 mega pixels. According to Apple, it features advanced optics and backside illumination, which will help user take better pictures in low light.

Earlier at Mobile World Congress in February, Asus and Huawei had announced two tablets sporting full HD (1920 x 1200 pixels) resolution. Both tablets are powered by Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

At the event in San Francisco, Apple also announced availability of iOS 5.1, an updated version of the OS that powers iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The company also updated Apple TV. Now, the device would be able to play 1080P videos. Apple TV users will be able to choose from an incredible selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. However, the store is not available in India at the moment.

Apple TV will be available on March 16 in the US for a suggested retail price of $99.

Forrester Research claimed on Tuesday Apple has 73% share in tablet market. “No other brand has more than a 6% market share. When we asked consumers which brand of tablet they are considering buying, 61% said Apple, while 24% named Amazon,” noted the research firm.

In January, Apple had reported that it sold 15.4 million iPad in its last quarter, a 111% unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

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