Apple unveils new iPad featuring Retina display, A5X chip, 5-megapixel iSight camera and ultrafast 4G LTE

Apple today introduced the new iPad, the third generation of its category defining mobile device, featuring a stunning new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast networks worldwide, including AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G LTE networks, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light. Beginning today, iPad 2 will be offered at an even more affordable price starting at just $399.

“The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in the press release. “The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.”

The new Apple iPad

The new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased color saturation the new iPad displays colors that are unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an incomparable viewing experience on a mobile device.

The powerful new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a superb balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the stunning new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch™ interface, immersive gameplay, incredible visual depth and all-day battery life that iPad is known for delivering.

The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking stunning pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and easily shared with friends and family using the built-in Photos app on iPad.

iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers blazing download and upload speeds so web pages load incredibly quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB**.

With iOS 5.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone®, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices. When content changes on one of your devices, your other devices are updated automatically.

The new iPad also supports dictation, another amazing way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.

Apple also introduced the iPhoto app, along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create amazing Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.

iPad runs almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps, from a wide range of categories, including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 20 million songs, over 90,000 TV episodes and over 15,000 movies. The new iBooks 2 app for iPad lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more.

Pricing & Availability

The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of US$499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G for either AT&T or Verizon will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.

iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPad will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands on Friday, March 16. Customers can begin pre-ordering their new iPad today, and the incredible iPad 2 is now offered at a more affordable price of $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.

iOS 5.1 and iTunes 10.6 are available today as free software updates. iPhoto, iMovie 1.3 and GarageBand 1.2 are available today for $4.99 each from the App Store. Keynote 1.6, Pages 1.6 and Numbers 1.6 are available today for $9.99 each from the App Store. Updates are available for free to existing customers. By the end of March iPad will be available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

**Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.

More info about the new iPad here.

Source: Apple Inc.


    1. Yes, but Jobs would call it iPad Retina or, at least, iPad 3.

      The more so the first exemplars of Retina iPad appeared last winter (4X graphics appeared in iOS at that time), so Jobs certainly already used test devices. Design for such things get finalized like half year before actual release, so Jobs probably used final version of this preproduction iPad in September.

      1. It looks to me like it will just be called an iPad.
        There is no need for anything else with the name.
        When you see a car, you might say, “Look at that Mustang!” Usually not “Look at that Mustang 48.” (I used to have a ’64 1/2) 😛

        One will just look at the model year…

          1. If they call this (3rd gen) “iPad”, and then a new one later (4th gen) also simply “iPad”, how do you tell the difference when used models are being sold on eBay or Craigslist? A buyer could be deceived or confused into buying the wrong one, and the seller could not be held for deception – he advertised the product simply as it is called: iPad.

            Version numbers are more than just marketing gimmicks; they are useful for hard-/software compatibility, differentiation in resale (when several models are no longer the new model), etc. Why is it suddenly “idiotic” when Apple stopped it? Was Apple just as idiotic when they did use it?

            1. The model year of the product you do not physically have in your hands? Which (online storefront) photograph may not adequately differentiate which model you are viewing? Remember that even with automobiles, there is a declared “version number” – the model year – used in advertising and sales; and this is besides the fact that there are often obvious differences in the design across model years.

              While Apple may not stamp the model number on the product, they will have to make the version very explicit at point-of-sale, especially on their Refurbished/Clearance web site (but ne’er-do-well resellers will probably still try to exploit this).

            2. I guess you are going to have to, to some degree, trust those sellers.
              What’s to stop them from using a screen shot of the “About” screen?

              Of course they can always say anything or post any picture…

            3. Right, Ansel, and as evidenced by your own post, you had to differentiate them by citing model year. You wouldn’t just buy an F-150; you’d want to know the model year in question before you even met the reseller.

              I suppose in the end you have to sacrifice one for the other – a serial name that identifies the model (iPad3), or a fixed name with a “must-mention” extended reference (iPad, 3rd generation). The latter has been the case with iPods and Macs, but without a model reference, non-new models are tricky to identify – even Apple’s refurb site uses indeterminate references like “Originally released September 2010 “. Hard to tell if that supports iOS5, for instance (an issue one never deals with in cars, and part of the reason gadgets need a version in name or by reference).

              But in neither case is the version reference “idiotic”.

            4. And, not to belabor the point, even cars do differentiate not only by model year, but also trims – XL, STX, 325i, 330i, S550, S600, etc. Car names are not entirely short and sweet.

          2. Or they’ll call next year’s model “The newer iPad.” 🙂

            For now, it’s sort of funny that the $399 iPad is “iPad 2” and the new one is just “iPad.” Or is “The new iPad” its official name for this year. BTW, you can get iPad 2 as a refurb for $349 (16GB WiFi only); that’s a great deal…

      2. I’m with you. HD didn’t make any sense as they will all be (new) HD going forward. So I don’t know why you don’t call it iPad 3? Very Microsoft like. Also, how is it that the store is down again? Can’t be volume as Apple has had so many problems in the past so surely they were prepared this time? I guess not. I only had to click checkout for my new iPad 3 when the store went offline! C’mon Apple ya gotta do better than that.

      3. 2,048 x 1,536 screen at $499
        iPad 2 at $399

        = every other tablet completely DOA

        (Does anyone even make any kind of 2,048 x 1,536 resolution device for anywhere near $499?)

        1. C’mon stop being monkey. Don’t jump and tell me that.its not only me expecting for siri to be release with this new ipad. Everyone is upset and I’m sure you do the samething. This is a big mistake for apple.

      1. Personally, if the $100 is not an issue, I would advise against doing that.
        The iPad 2 will never get Siri.
        The new iPad has the skillz to have Siri be a simple software update.

        I would future proof as much as possible.

    1. I agree. This update is great for some but not the universal “WOW” that the iPad 2 was. Ipad 2 is plenty for me. I’ll wait til next year.

      While watching the video I found myself wishing that it was Steve up their.

    1. I’ve downloaded it for my iPhone 4 and iPad 2. I’m surprised how quickly it downloaded. The last major iOS update seemed to crash the Apple farm servers…or there were serious wide spread network latency issues.

  1. Siri. That’s one piece I was really hoping for as someone who’s got several months left on my iPhone 4 contract and waiting for the successor to the 4s.

    Still probably jumping in for the resolution alone and graphics alone . . . and glad I’m on here bitching about the lack of a Verizon iPhone like I used to.

    Still, Siri . . . would have really liked full Siri support.

      1. Sorry I don’t agree, the iPad is an intimate portable device and would/is perfectly suited to having a personal assistant. When I’m surfing the web say on the sofa or in bed, what better means of finding stuff is there than talking to Siri. It doesn’t need to be a pocket device to make Siri relevant.

    1. You’re right, where is Siri, I seriously don’t understand Apple’s thinking here, surely Siri should be a major part of Apple’s road map, it’s a killer feature that blows the iPad wannabes away. Siri is a feature that can’t be matched or bested by the iClones, unlike retina and 4g. Retina looks amazing and am looking forward to seeing it for real, but otherwise it’s meh for me today.

    1. Link to tech specs showing the RAM? It’s not on Apple’s site and nobody has announced it. It’s a lousy upgrade if there’s only 512MB. Of course, with a gig of RAM, I’m sure the next 5.x update would turn my already iOS 5.0.1 crippled iPad 1 into an expensive coaster. If only I could “downgrade” to 4.3 and get a working iPad again…

      1. I hear you, Chuck. My iPad 1 got all the new features AND significant slowdown. I think if I could go back to 4.3 I would.

        On the other hand, the iPad 3 I’m planning to get will seem all the faster!!

    2. Small correction – It’s a dual-core A5X chip with quad-core graphics. Which I think is better because graphics reap more benefits from multiple cores.

      Oh, and one of the game developers at today’s event mentioned that new iPad had double the RAM, which would make it 1GB.

    1. Tried to through business sales. I was told they are having problems with their servers and website.This was over the phone and the agent couldn’t do a transaction.

  2. Up in the air about the dropping of the numbering system. I wish they could have waited until the iPad 4. Also, what is up with the dictation feature? Is it Siri or not? Maybe Siri will be enabled later via a software update?

    Finally, I would love to see Apple offer a 8 GB iPad 2 (wi-fi only) for $299. Kindle Killer Deluxe Edition!

    1. No matter what Apple does, it’s never enough for some people, is it? Even the $399 iPad gets multiple comments pulling for $299 instead.

      Sheesh, folks – have some appreciation for the amazing stuff Apple has actually accomplished.

  3. For the largest most successful company ever in the history of the world why can’t they have servers that can handle the expected crush of first day ordering? FRUSTRATING.

  4. Pretty much what the rumor mills have been saying and what we expected. I have the iPad 2 and will skip this one but I must admit I’m very tempted. I have to discipline myself to at least stay with a device for two years. This is a no brainer for people who still have the first iPad and those who’ve been sitting on the fence about getting a tablet. It’ll be another major hit for sure.

    1. You’re not from here, are you?

      The old saying goes: “Buy on the rumour, sell on the news”.

      There were no major surprises there today; what was unveiled has been rumoured about, so no surprises with the stock either.

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