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Apple unveils its newest iPad - it's FOUR TIMES faster, has 3D capability and a sharper picture than an HD TV

  • Features include retina display, 5 megapixel camera and 4G LTE capability
  •  Screen is sharper than most 40-inch living room televisions
  •  Latest version powered by high-speed A5x chip
  • Apple boasts picture resolution so crisp that words will appear sharper than words in print
Advanced: Apple claims the screen resolution on the new iPad, shown here with Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, is so sharp that the words on the screen are sharper than words in print

Apple launched its latest version of the iPad on Wednesday, armed with a Full HD display with 3.1 million pixels and a supercharged new processor.
The device will be available on March 16 and priced from $499-$829 (£399-£659) - the same range as the iPad 2, which the technology giant launched a year ago.
The tablet will be powered by a super fast quad-core A5x chip, putting Apple's tablet ahead of competitors such as Samsung.
It will also offer a high speed 4G LTE network connection in territories with 4G - in the U.S., it will be available on both the AT&T and Verizon wireless networks. The network is not yet available in the UK.

Despite this, Apple claims the battery lasts 10 hours and the device is just 9.4mm thick.
'Who will come out with a product that's more amazing than the iPad 2?' Apple CEO Tim Cook asked the audience at the San Francisco launch event. 'Stop wondering - we are'.


Up close, the new HD screen is very impressive indeed - particularly with apps built to take advantage of it - such as the new version of sky watching app Star Walk which can show 300,000 stars on screen at once.
Even on the home screen, though, icons are stunningly crisp - and printed words in iBooks are so sharp it almost hurts to look at them.
With Full HD video, there's a cinematic feel like watching a big flatscreen TV set - except the screen is in your lap.
Photos really pop out of the screen - and even ones taken on the device's 5-megapixel camera are crisp enough to zoom right in.
Overall, the device doesn't feel a huge amount faster, though - the new processor clearly has its work cut out just keeping the screen going.
And despite Apple's boasts, the games still don't look a patch on titles on Xbox 360 or PC - but as developers get to grips with the new hardware, that will change.
The screen, a larger version of the screen in iPhone 4s, is sharper than most 40-inch HD televisions.
Apple claims that the screen resolution is so sharp words on screen are sharper than words in print.
Mr Cook said: 'We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad'.
The new iPad also offers a 5 megapixel iSight camera which can record video in full HD. 
Apple showed off new apps, including new versions of it's iWork apps such as iPhoto.
Many apps showed off the power of the new tablet - for instance editing 14 megapixel digital photos in full size on screen.
The processor is fast enough to handle a 3D game, Sky Gamblers, with 50 fighter planes battling on screen at once. 
A new version of the hit iPhone title Infinity Blade showed off graphics similar to Xbox 360 and PS3.
A fresh edition of the GarageBand music software lets four iPads 'jam' together via Wi-Fi. Also, a newer version of iMovie allows users to record and edit full HD movies right on the screen. 
The iPhoto app allows photo editing direct on screen, cropping pictures, editing lighting and adding effects such as red-eye reduction and black and White filters via the touchscreen.
The new iPad will be 9.4 millimeters thick, or 0.37 inches.

That compares with 8.8 millimeters, or 0.34 inches, for the iPad 2.
The weight is going up from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi-only model. The original iPad weighed 1.5 pounds.

Apple also confirmed that the new model will come in a version that can use Verizon Wireless' and AT&T Inc.'s 'LTE' wireless broadband networks.

Close competition: Amazon's Kindle Fire is Apple's most serious rival: Analysts estimate that Amazon sold 5.5 million in the fourth quarter of last year, while Apple sold 15.4 million iPads

They offer speeds that are faster than the '3G' networks used by previous iPads, and current iPhones.
The company says the new model also will be four times faster.
Apple also unveiled a new model of its Apple TV set-top box which offers full HD films, television and web channels such as YouTube.
The new iPad and Apple TV devices will be available on store shelves on March 16.
The device offers built-in access to Apple's iCloud offering users online access to films they have purchased on other apple devices such as iPhone.
Apple announced that films and TV shows in iTunes store would now be available in 1080p, or full high-definition.
The company also revealed a new, cheaper 'entry level' iPad 2 for $399 - cheaper than any previous model.
Mr Cook also left the door open for 'a lot more' innovation in the next year - possibly a reference to the new iPhone 5 widely expected to launch later in 2012.


Previous versions of Apple TV have not been a huge success for Apple, offering a 'set-top box' that delivers internet TV content via iTunes
Apple did not announce its widely expected Apple television - instead, Tim Cook unveiled a new model of its Apple TV set-top box which offers full HD films and TV.The device is available on March 16.The new version offers built-in access to Apple's icloud offering users online access to films they have purchased on other Apple devices such as iPhone.
When the device goes on sale next week in the U.S. and several other countries, it will be 'the iPad' or perhaps 'the new iPad' - not 'iPad 3' or 'iPad HD,' as some had speculated.
Analyst reaction was favourable to the new device, with some predicting shortages.
'There is no doubt that peopple like Blackberry maker RIM and Google will struggle to compete. The key is really  the apps - we have seen
high resolution screens before, but Apple has 200,000 apps that nobody can compete with,' says analyst Avi Greengart. 
However, Mr Greengart warned Apple's plan to ship the new iPad to dozens on countries when it launches could cause problems. 
‘There is going to be a huge amount of demand, so I think simply getting enough units out there is going to be a challenge,’ he said. 
‘I know I want one, and a lot of other people will too.’

The lack of a new name may cause confusion for buyers, particularly since the older model, the 'iPad 2,' will still be sold.


Gizmodo: 'It's almost like looking at a glossy magazine page. It also has much more powerful guts, with a much faster processor, graphics and more memory.'
TechCrunch: 'As far as weight and shape, it’s almost exactly the same as the iPad 2. They wouldn’t allow comparison shots - probably because the new iPad is a little thicker - but the dimensional differences are minor and the overall feel is near-identical.'
Engadget: 'By and large, the new guy is the same as the old guy (Home button included), but with a few nice amenities that could very well convince owners of earlier iPads to upgrade. Upon touching the HD variant, it's not the overall form factor that grabs us -- it's the screen.'
TechRepublic: 'Apple is trying hard to get us to see the iPad as more than just a consumption device. It clearly wants this to be a viable option for more and more users to consider instead of a laptop.'
Last year, Apple sold 172 million of what it described as post-PC devices  - iPhones, iPads and touchscreen iPods.
The company has now sold 315 million devices running its iOS operating system.
Apple had sold more than 55 million iPads around the world as of January this year.
In the run-up to launch, the new gadget ignited a frenzy among fans.
Data company Experian Hitwise says that one in 2000 of all internet searches have been for terms related to iPad 3 over the past week.
'Demand for the iPad 3 online reached its peak in the last week as 1 in every 2000 searches online were iPad 3 related,' says the company. 
Some industry experts are even predicting the end of personal computers as touch-screen tablet-style computers grow in popularity.
Apple announced that more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store by customers.
Long lines formed outside Apple’s flagship store in Regent Street in central London two years ago as hundreds vied to get their hands on the original iPad when it was launched.


Screen size: 9.7 inches
Weight: 601g
Depth: 8.8mm
Screen resolution: 1024x768
Processor: 1Ghz Apple A5
Storage: 16GB-64GB
Camera: 720p, 30 frames per second
Connections: Wi-fi, 3G, Bluetooth, Apple 30-pin connector


Screen size: 9.7 inches
Weight: 653g
Depth: 9.4mm
Screen resolution: 2048x1536
Processor: 1Ghz Apple A5X
Storage: 16GB-64GB
Camera: 1080p, 30 frames per second
Connections: 4G LTE Wi-Fi (Verizon and AT&T), Bluetooth 4.0, Apple 30-pin connector

At last! Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad during an Apple event today in San Francisco
Apple was forced to push back its original late April UK launch date because of ‘overwhelming demand’ for the device in the U.S.
The company sold more than one million iPads in the U.S. in the first 100 days making it a better seller than the iPhone.
Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst for Forrester Research, said the device's Android competition has failed because most technology companies fail to see that the 'apps' are more important than the hardware.
'It's about the services - what you can do with the device,’ she said in a blog post.
Apple's competitors have slowly come to realize this, but only after bringing out dozens of tablets with whiz-bang features like 3-D cameras.

The third version of the iPad, pictured above, will be available on March 16 and priced at $499-$829. It's powered by a super fast quad-core A5x chip


Apple's iPad has changed the face of computing forever. The company sold more than one million iPads in the US in the first 100 days after launch. 
It was a faster seller than the iPhone.
The device has now led many tech experts to question whether the 'PC' as we know it now can continue to exist.
Even Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8, due later this year, incorporates support for tablet devices - a huge sea-change for the company. 
It's a tribute to the legendary instincts of late Apple founder Steve Jobs. iPad was not the first touchscreen computer - but it perfected the formula. 
When Bill Gates unveiled the 'Tablet PC' several years before Steve Jobs's device, it was a dismal failure, crippled by unresponsive touchscreens and low-powered machines. 
But the easy-to-use, simple iPad cracked the formula. Within a year, rivals such as Samsung, Toshiba and Sony were scrambling to create their own versions. 

The company’s last release was the iPhone 4S - complete with voice recognition software - which went on sale in October.
It was launched just nine days after Apple’s pioneering former chief executive Steve Jobs died following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
The launch was seen as a key 'test' for new CEO Tim Cook.
The competitor that has done the best is Inc.
Its Kindle Fire tablet is cheaper than the iPad, and also tied into Amazon's book, movie and music stores, making it an easy route to entertainment, just like the iPad. 
Still, the Kindle Fire has a long way to go. 
Epps estimates that Amazon sold 5.5 million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads, and has sold 55.3 million in total. 
According to Canaccord Genuity, 63 percent of the tablets shipped last year were iPads.
The only competitors with more than 5 percent market share were Amazon and Samsung.
The iPad launch comes as Apple has reached a rare milestone: last week, it was worth more than $500billion.
Only six other U.S. companies have been worth that much, and none have held that valuation for long.
On Tuesday, Apple's stock had fallen, bringing its market value down to $494billion, but analysts believe it the company is worth closer to $550billion

More to love: The new version of the iPad will be slightly fatter and heavier than its predecessor

Media get a hands on demo of the iPad during an Apple event

Crystal clear: A scene from the UK drama Downton Abbey is displayed during a test of Apple's latest iPad at an event in London

A tale of two iPads: The new Apple iPad (left) is shown next to its predecessor, the iPad 2 (right) at a launch party at Kings Place, London

Korean technology giant has been locked in a protracted legal battle with Apple over its Galaxy 10.1 tablet, but sales of Samsung's devices have remained low
The success of the seven-inch Kindle Fire and 'mid-sized' devices such as Samsung's Galaxy Note (pictured) has led to increased speculation about a smaller model of iPad

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