This week, Apple lifted the lid on its third-generation iPad, which will have the highest resolution display ever on a mobile device – more than even an HD TV – and more memory than either the Xbox 360 or the PS3. Besides the sharp 3 million pixel “retina display,” Apple’s tablet boasts a powerful quad-core processor, faster download speeds through the 4G LTE wireless network and a 10-hour battery life.
“We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created just two years ago with the original iPad,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at Wednesday’s press event, held in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It was Apple’s first major product release since the death of Steve Jobs last October.
Apple hopes the slew of new features will guard the iPad as the top seller in the booming tablet market. Although Amazon’s low-priced Kindle Fire, which went on sale last year, has sparked some interest, Apple still has a stronghold on two-thirds of the market share for tablet computers.
In January, Apple reported that over the holiday quarter, iPad sales totaled over $9 billion, about as much as Google’s entire, company-wide revenue during the same time frame. The surprising popularity behind the iPad suggests a shift away from desktops and towards mobile computing, according to Cook.
“The iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world,” Cook continued. “We sold more iPads in the last quarter alone than any PC manufacturer sold in their entire line.”
The new iPad also comes with an HD video recorder and a 5-megapixel iSight camera with the capability to do face recognition, autofocus and auto exposure. Apple also improved the tablet’s voice recognition and dictation software. Dubbed a “graphics powerhouse,” this new iPad may pit Apple against not only Microsoft but also Sony and Nintendo in the video game console competition. According to CNN, the only thing missing is an iController.
The new iPad will go on sale on March 16, starting at $500.