San Francisco – Apple plans March 11 U.S. availability of an iPad
2 that’s 33 percent thinner than its predecessor, but adds new Apple dual-core
1GHz processor, dual cameras, FaceTime Wi-Fi video chatting, iOS 4.3 operating
system and a gyroscope.
For the first time, a version with embedded 3G cellular will be
available for the Verizon Wireless network.
Separate versions will be available for GSM/HSPA networks, including
AT&T and international carriers. A Wi-Fi-only version will also be
available, like before.
Neither the AT&T nor Verizon versions operate on those
carriers’ 4G networks.
Despite its smaller size and weight, the iPad 2 maintains its
predecessor’s 9.7-inch display size with 1,024 by 768 resolution and LED
It will be available in white and black at the same prices as the
current iPad. Prices for the Wi-Fi-only versions start at $499 for the 16GB model.
Prices for the 3G GSM/HSPA versions for AT&T and international carriers
start at $629 for the 16GB version. The $629 price is also the starting price
for a 3G Verizon Wireless 3G versions.
The iPad 2 ships in 26 other countries on March 25 and later in
Also on March 11, Apple will begin offering the iOS 4.3 operating
system as a free upgrade for the current iPad, to the GSM iPhone 3G S and 4,
and to the iPad Touch third and fourth generation.
Among other things, the iOS 4.3 will enable the GSM iPhone 4 to
act as a personal Wi-Fi hot spot in the same way that the current Verizon
iPhone 4 does.
With Apple’s new A5 dual-core 1GHz processor, the iPad 2 will
deliver 9x faster graphics processing than the company’s previous single-core
1GHz processor, yet battery life remains the same at 10 hours, the company said.
For AT&T’s network, the new model adds 3G HSUPA support for
faster cellular uploading.
The new model is also 33
percent thinner than its predecessor, at 8.8 mm thick, and is thinner than an
iPhone 4. Weight also goes down by 15 percent to 1.3 pounds.
The rear-facing video
camera captures 720p video, and the front-facing camera features VGA
resolution. Both can be used for FaceTime video chats. The iPad also stores
A new HDMI Video Mirroring feature lets users mirror whatever is
on their iPad screen on an HDTV via an optional adapter.
With the iOS 4.3, the iPad and other Apple devices will
deliver faster Safari web browsing. The new OS also adds to AirPlay’s ability
to stream audio, video and photos from the mobile device via Wi-Fi to an Apple
TV. Streamed content can now include video from third-party apps and from
websites as well as video from the iPad’s Photos app.
The OS adds iTunes Home Sharing, which lets users stream music
and video via Wi-Fi to their handheld device from their networked PC. The iOS
4.3 also gives users the ability to make the iPad side switch either lock the
screen rotation or mute audio.
The OS’s personal hot spot feature enables a GSM iPhone 4, like
the Verizon iPhone 4, to act as a
personal hot spot to share Wi-Fi connections with up to five devices in
a combination of up to three Wi-Fi, three Bluetooth and one USB device.
When joining a Personal Hotspot, once the feature is enabled, a
status bar displays how many devices are currently connected. Every connection
is password protected, and when not in use, the Personal Hotspot turns itself
off to save battery life.