Apple CEO Steve Jobs has launched the company’s iPad 2 tablet device at a press event today. It has the same 9.7-inch screen size (and resolution) as the original iPad but is 33% thinner and is also lighter. The device includes Apple’s new 1GHz dual-core A5 processor and two cameras, with a front-facing camera for ‘FaceTime’ video calls and a rear-facing camera for 720p HD video recording.
iPad 2 will be supplied with version 4.3 of the iOS operating system. iOS 4.3 promises faster web browsing, iTunes media sharing and a ‘Personal Hotspot’ feature for sharing an iPhone 4 mobile data connection over WiFi.
Steve Jobs said “With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices. 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.”
New iPad applications announced at the same time included the iMovie video-editing app and the GarageBand music recording software.
The WiFi-only iPad 2 will be available from 11th March in the USA with prices starting from $499 (around £306) for the 16GB model. Pricing for the WiFi + 3G version starts from $629. UK availability is expected by the end of March.
Meanwhile there are already rumours that iPad 3 could be released in time for Christmas 2011.