"It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing."
iPad 2 demo
Apple officially announced the iPad 2 at a press conference Wednesday in San Francisco, California, and there’s already a surprisingly intensified tide of support and fascination swelling even from those slow to try out the original. Now that the concept has been introduced and been allowed to find an introductory niche in our techno-culture, it’s been discovered that the thing’s actually pretty damn cool – and the improvements are undoubtedly going to sell a great many more buyers.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs appeared at Wednesday’s event and announced the iPad 2 will include front and rear-facing cameras for video, a much faster processor and it will be "dramatically thinner," shaving off 0.2 pounds from its predecessor. The device will ship in two colors, black and white with a metal back, and both AT&T and Verizon will support it.
To add a little sizing perspective, the tablet is actually 0.5 millimeters thinner than an iPhone 4. On top of that incredible feat of technological fine-tuning, even with all of the added components, the iPad 2 promises to achieve 10 hours of battery life. Accessories include a $39 HDMI adapter that will output 1080p video of any app on the iPad 2 screen.
The price will be the same, starting at $499, and it begins shipping in the U.S. on March 11 and March 25 internationally. The higher end model, a 64GB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will retail for $829. 26.
iOS 4.3 will be installed on the iPad 2, bringing with it improvements to AirPlay, Safari speed enhancements, iTunes home sharing. New apps available for the iPad will include iMovie, GarageBand and a mobile version of Photo Booth, as well as FaceTime.
Wednesday’s iPad 2 presentation was, as Bob Lefsetz put it, "more eagerly anticipated than any musical release this year. Kanye’s lauded "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" pales in comparison. GaGa copied Madonna, Apple broke new ground."
He’s absolutely right. If ever there were a fitting analogy between technology and the music industry, it’s this very scenario. People have disassociated themselves entirely from the passion of music, the soul of the listening experience. It’s about filling silence, bumping beats, keeping up with the latest hit-fix churned out by the derivative superstars of today. Where the passion is, where the true fire among the average culture hound is found, is in the iPad 2.
Current users with Apple IDs total 200 million between the three stores, iTunes, the App Store, and iBooks. Apple recently shipped its 100 millionth iPhone, and almost 15 million iPads were sold in 2010, generating over $9.5 billion in revenue.
65,000 iPad-optimized apps are now available on the App Store, far ahead of all competitors. Apple currently has a 90 percent share of the tablet market, and with the iPad 2 on the way that number is expected to climb.
Watch Steve Jobs’ iPad 2 presentation video.
Also, if you happen to be looking for the perfect wallpaper for your shiny new iPad 2, Steve may have a suggestion: