Saturday, March 12, 2011

Apple iPad 2 Aims to Battle Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Others


Apple formally announced its next-generation iPad in a San Francisco event March 2. Officially dubbed the iPad 2, the tablet offers hardware upgrades that Apple hopes will sway customers away from new, high-powered competitors such as the Motorola Xoom. Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the event stage to unveil the iPad 2. "Is 2011 going to be the year of the copycats? I think if we did nothing, maybe a little bit," he told the audience. "But we haven’t been resting on our laurels." In addition to being thinner and lighter, the iPad 2 includes a dual-core processor, built-in gyroscope, front- and rear-facing cameras, and the option of either black or white casing. Apple plans on making the device available March 11, with models that will work on both AT&T’s and Verizon’s 3G networks. During his talk, Jobs couldn’t resist a swipe at the Xoom, which runs Android 3.0 and retails for $799. Citing the pricing for the iPad 2’s various models, he said, "Five of these six models are less expensive than $799. We only have one model that’s more expensive than $799." Between keeping the same pricing, and the new hardware and software tweaks, Apple hopes the iPad 2 will hold the company’s line against the tablet competitors due to flood the market this year.

iPad 2

Apple formally announced the iPad 2 in a San Francisco event March 2, ending months of speculation about the features of its next-generation tablet.


The 9.7-inch iPad 2 includes a built-in three-axis gyroscope, like the iPhone 4 and latest version of the iPod Touch. It is also 33 percent thinner than the original iPad, which makes it slimmer than the iPhone 4.

iOS 4.3

The company is also tweaking the iPad’s software with iOS 4.3, which includes a speedier JavaScript engine, iTunes home sharing for wireless streaming from PC to iPad, improvement tweaks to Airplay, and built-in Photobooth.


The iPad 2 features a new chip, the A5. Apple hopes its next-generation tablet’s dual-core processor will put it on even footing in consumers’ minds with new and upcoming tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, which boasts a good deal of processing firepower.


Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed during the iPad 2 unveiling that Apple has sold some 15 million iPads to date, giving it the lion’s share of the burgeoning consumer tablet market.


Apple claims some 200 million accounts for its three online storefronts (iTunes, App Store, iBooks).


Like the iPhone 4 and the newest iPod Touch, the iPad 2 boasts FaceTime video-conferencing.


Both front- and rear-mounted cameras can record video, with the rear one capable of 720p and 30 frames per second.


The iPad 2 will also include Photobooth, with all the usual face-twisting effects.

Smart Cover

Apple is offering a "smart cover" for the iPad 2, complete with magnets to grasp and auto-align over the screen. When opened, it will wake the device; when closed, it will put the tablet to sleep.

Video Mirroring

Via an Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter, users can project their iPad’s screen onto an HDTV or projector.


The iPad 2’s pricing structure will mirror that of the original iPad.


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