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Apple unveils 'new iPad' with retina display

Apple’s new gem features A5X chip, 5 megapixel iSight camera and supports 4G LTE

The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago.
The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago.

Apple has unveiled its latest iPad, which features a high definition retina display, a new quad-core A5X processor and support for 4G LTE cellular networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook cited booming sales of iPads, iPhones and iPods as evidence that the ‘post-PC era' is well under way. "Any company would be thrilled to have just one of these devices," Cook said. "At Apple we're fortunate to have all three."

The new iPad, which goes on sale 16th March and is now available for pre-order, features a ‘retina' display with 31 million pixels and resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels. A new 5 megapixel camera with 1080 video recording is also part of the package. Apple has apparently decided to keep things simple by calling it ‘the new iPad,' instead of ‘iPad 3' or ‘Pad HD,' as had been earlier rumoured.

"The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos."

The new iPad is powered by Apple's new quad-core A5X processor, which is twice as powerful at handling graphics as its predecessor, the A5, and four times more powerful than Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor, according to Apple's calculations.

"Until you see it, you can't understand how amazing this is," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of product marketing at Apple. "This is the best mobile display that has ever shipped."

The addition of 4G LTE makes the new iPad slightly larger than the iPad 2, but it is still just 9.4 mm thick and weighs 1.4 pounds. Apple also says that battery life will remain the same as the iPad 2, which runs for 10 hours on Wi-Fi and 9 hours on 3G.

Apple is knocking $100 off the price of the iPad 2, which is now priced at $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model. Apple last year sold 172 million iOS products, which accounted for more than three-quarters of its revenue, but the iPad is having the most profound impact on the PC market, according to Cook, who described it as ‘the poster child of the post-PC world.'

The company also announced that an update to its iPad operating system, iOS 5.1 update is available as a download now, and includes a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud.

Apple also launched a new iPhoto app, along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display.