True to Apple form of introducing updated products yearly, the iPad 2 was officially unveiled today. Considering the Apple iPad is widely considered as the fastest adopted consumer electronic product in history – selling over 15 million in its first year – it’s incredible to realize we’re only in year two of its existence.

Also true to Apple form, the newer version iPad is faster, lighter, and thinner than its predecessor. It’s actually thinner than its iPhone 4 cousin. It will also have black and white colored versions.  The new iPad will start shipping on March 11th and will be priced the same as the original, starting at $499 for the Wi-Fi only version.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs held little punches when discussing the iPad 2 and its impact on the growing competitive tablet market. “With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices,” said Jobs. “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.” Ouch.

Features of the iPad2 include:

  • 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the original iPad
  • 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen
  • New iOS 4.3, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system
  • New dual-core A5 processor
  • Two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime® and Photo Booth®, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video
  • HDMI Video Mirroring that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Compatible with both AT&T and Verizon 3G networks

As Jobs alluded to, the tablet market has gotten quite crowded with several iterations of a Google Android powered tablet already on the market with several more to come, and forthcoming models from RIM/BlackBerry (PlayBook) and HP/Palm (TouchPad). It should make for an interesting 2011.

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One thought on “Apple Unveils iPad 2, Challenges Growing Competitive Field

  1. Apple's real genius is there ability to convince people to upgrade to these latest releases, without any real subsidized model. A huge percentage of new iPad 2 sales will come from people who already own the original iPad, and are happy to fork over more money to Apple for the privilege. What other company even comes close to this?

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