Apple announces iPad 2; Front/rear camera, available March 11

On Wednesday, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to announce the next version of the iPad, the iPad 2.

Apple unveiled the original iPad back in January 2010, where many consumers and analysts believed the company had a massive failure on its hands. However, the iPad managed to be well received by consumers and eventually became hard to find, as units were flying off the shelves.

Today, Steve Jobs announced some updates including iBooks, with over 200 million registered accounts and $200 million dollars paid out to publishers. Apple announced that they have sold 15 million iPads in 2010, in only nine months since its launch.

Amongst the announcements, Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPad 2. The updated device will come with an A5 dual-core processor, with 2x faster CPU, 9x faster GPU, which offers the same low-power benefit as the A4 processor. The iPad 2 features a front and rear-facing camera, so you'll be able to FaceTime with other iPad, iPhone or iPod touch users.

The new iPad 2 is thinner than the original iPad, at just 8.8mm thick, thinner than the iPhone 4. The second generation iPad weighs in at 1.3 pounds, slightly lighter than the original. It will be available on both AT&T and Verizon, and in both black and white, with no shipping delays, unlike the iPhone 4.

Apple reports the iPad will have a 10 hour battery life, with up to a month of standby time. Pricing will be the same as the original, with the same WiFi-only and WiFi+3G models in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Pricing starts at $499 for the 16GB WiFi model and $629 for the 3G 16GB model.

The iPad 2 will ship on March 11 in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and UK, and March 25 in 26 more countries. There will also be an accessory cable that delivers HDMI mirrored video output (1080p). The accessory cable will allow you to charge your iPad while you use it. The new cover will also feature a magnet which can lock your iPad when you close it and wakes when you open it.

The case will be available through Apple. It will be available in 5 colours and in leather, for $69 USD.

FaceTime for the iPad will now allow you to transfer video between an iPod touch (4th generation), iPhone 4, and supported Macs. FaceTime will soon allow HD video (up to 720p) for streaming live video.

iMovie will soon come with a massive update for the iPad 2, with a precision editor, multitrack audio editor, new interface and many more exciting features.

The iPad 2 will feature:

  • 9.7-inch display
  • 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Rear camera that supports 720p recording
  • Front facing VGA camera
  • 3-axis gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Digital compass
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