Apple unveils new iPad with high-definition screen

 

Rupert Goodwins, Editor of the technology website, ZD Net UK: "Unless you are a big Apple fan it will look like any other iPad."

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Apple has unveiled a new iPad with a high-definition screen.

It said the resolution of the display was 2,048 by 1,536 pixels. The tablet is also powered by a new A5X chip with improved graphics performance.

Chief executive Tim Cook claimed to have "redefined once again the category Apple created".

Apple dominates the market but should face a fresh challenge later this year when tablets running the full Windows 8 system are expected to go on sale.

The new iPad - which is simply called by that name - also features a 5-megapixel camera sensor. It will be able to run on 4G LTE networks where the service is available and can act as a wi-fi hotspot for other devices if carriers allow the function.

It is 9.4mm deep, slightly thicker than the 8.8mm profile of the iPad 2. The basic 16GB model with only wi-fi will cost £399 and the top of the range 64GB model with wi-fi and 4G will cost £659.

Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said the tablet has the same 10-hour estimated battery life as the previous model using only wi-fi. That limit shortens by an hour when using 4G.

It is due to go on sale on 16 March in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan.

The previous model will stay on sale at a reduced price, starting at £329. Mr Schiller said that would make it more affordable for schools to buy the machine.

The firm also announced an upgraded TV box which can now handle 1080p video.

Films and TV shows will be sold via its iTunes store in the high-definition format.

Phil Schiller discusses the high-definition capabilities of the tablet This was Apple's first product launch since the death of Steve Jobs
Mixed reactions

IMS Research said Apple accounted for 62% of the global tablet market in 2011. Ahead of the press conference it said it expected that share to rise to 70% this year.

Analysts at Gartner said they expected Apple to maintain its lead and increase the volume of tablets sold - but added that the launch did not contain any news to cause them to increase their "bullish" forecasts.

"I'd call the new iPad an evolutionary device with some revolutionary experiences," said research director Michael Gartenberg.

Others expressed disappointment following the news noting that the new device's display did not include haptic touch-feedback technology or access to the iPhone 4S' voice-controlled Siri "intelligent assistant" as rumoured.

"As tablets are increasingly being used for personal media consumption, it is promising to see a better screen resolution," said Fred Huet, managing director of Greenwich Consulting.

"But will this be enough to ensure Apple's competitive lead in the marketplace? No."

However, the new iPad won praise from journalists at Engadget who were among the first to try out the tablet. They noted that the improved screen resolution should lead to improved apps.

"Apple just put an insane amount of real estate in the hands of crafty developers, and frankly, we can't wait to see what they cook up," wrote Darren Murphy.

Apple's shares closed 0.08% higher on Wall Street at $530.69.

How the competition compares

Device Vital information What the experts say

Blackberry Playbook

Blackberry Playbook

• Released: April 2011 (updated February 2012) • Screen size: 7" Weight: 450g • Operating system: BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0 • Cost: £250 (64GB, Currys) • Full specification

"A tablet that's trying really hard to please the enterprise set but, in doing so, seems to be alienating casual users who might just want a really great seven-inch tablet." - Engadget

Asus Transformer Prime

Asus Transformer Prime

• Released: December 2011 • Screen size: 10.1" Weight: 537g • Operating system: Android - Ice Cream Sandwich • Cost: £499 (32GB, John Lewis) • Full specification

"This is a corking tablet/laptop hybrid that is more powerful than ever and with Ice Cream Sandwich added into the mix is the best Android tablet yet." - T3

Motorola Xoom 2

Xoom 2

• Released: November 2011 • Screen size: 10.1" Weight: 599g • Operating system: Android - Honeycomb • Cost: £379.99 (16GB, Amazon) • Full specification

"We're pleased with Motorola's efforts in slimming down the slate. The Honeycomb experience is a rather nice one. But we don't think it's offering enough to justify the premium price tag." - Cnet

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

• Released: June 2011 • Screen size: 10.1" Weight: 565g • Operating system: Android - Honeycomb • Cost: £399 (16GB, John Lewis) • Full specification

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is certainly one of the best Android tablets so far and deserves to be high on the list for anyone who can't stomach Cupertino's controlling neediness." - Pocketlint

The new iPad

iPad

• Released: March 2012 • Screen size: 9.7"

• Weight: 635g • Operating system: iOS • Cost: £399 (16GB, Apple)

Full specification

"The screen on the device is absolutely stunning... icons really do pop on the Retina Display... Simply put, there's no other product like it on the market." - The Verge

 

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