As widely expected, Apple has introduced a new iPad, which it has chosen to call “the new iPad”, rather than the iPad 3. The third-generation iPad offers support for LTE/4G networks, a new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics, and a 5 megapixel camera offering 1080p High Definition video recording. US customers will be able to enjoy 4G speeds on the iPad on AT&T and Verizon.
The new iPad runs on iOS 5.1, and includes a redesigned camera app with video stabilisation technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot, which enables users to share the iPad’s network with up to five other devices using wi-fi, Bluetooth or USB. The Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of the iPad 2, while the A5X chip offers double the graphics performance of the iPad 2’s A5 chip. There's no Siri, but the device will run almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps.
The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white on Friday, 16 March for £399 (16GB); £479 (32GB); and £559 (64GB). The iPad Wi-Fi + 4G will be available from the same date for £499 (16GB); £579 (32GB); and £659 (64GB). The new iPad is available for pre-order from today, and the price of the iPad 2 has been dropped to £329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, and £429 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.
App developers will most likely be getting excited about that high-resolution display. “The new device is certainly going to be a shot in the arm for the apps business,” says Mike Anderson, CEO and founder of Chelsea Apps Factory. “Developers are going to really have to up their game to build apps which make full use of the high resolution screen and the quad-core processor – this iPad is genuinely viable as a full 3D-gaming device.”
Mark Watson, EVP of technology and engineering at Antenna, feels the name of the new device is significant. He says: “The features that Apple have chosen to install on the new iPad, as well as the new name of the device, show that the platform has ‘normalised’ – future iPad releases will be iterative rather than revolutionary. The fact that Apple didn’t save any really big surprises for later in the presentation may mean that Apple itself has normalised as a company - into an industry behemoth (think IBM in the 70s or Microsoft in the 90s) rather than a game-changer.”