By John Biggs
After selling 15 million iPads in 2010 and gaining 90% market share in the tablet market, Apple (AAPL) is ready to take the next step. Apple’s latest iPad, the iPad 2, is official. The new tablet has a A5 processor for a 2x faster CPU speed and 9x faster graphics speed with the power consumption of the original A4 chip.
It has front and back cameras as well as a built-in gyroscope. It 1/3 thinner than the iPad – 8.8 mm thick from 13 mm – making it thinner than the iPhone 4. And It comes in white and will be available on Verizon (VZ) and AT&T’s (T) cellular networks. It starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model.
The price has been a point of contention but Jobs said during his presentation today:
When we introduced the iPad, we said it was our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device. People laughed at us for calling it magical — but it’s turned out to be magical. People didn’t necessarily agree with the price — but ask our competitors now.
The new models will cost the same as the old, starting at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model. The new iPad supports Facetime video calling and Photobooth self-portraits. It also supports HDMI-out via a $39 video dongle. It weighs 1.3 lbs, .2 pounds less than the original iPad.
The new iPad will ship on March 11 in the United States and on March 25 in other countries including Poland, Belgium, Canada (!!), and the Czech Republic.