Apple has unveiled the new iPad at an event in San Francisco, but the new gadget was overshadowed by an unannounced appearance by CEO Steve Jobs.
Jobs took to the stage in his trademark black turtleneck and jeans to promote his new toy, to the delight of Apple faithful present at the event. The iPad 2 itself was somewhat less surprising. It is 33 percent thinner and lighter than the original iPad, so it looks a bit sleeker, but there are few new features to talk about.
The new pad features a front-facing VGA webcam and back-facing 720p cam, which is hardly spectacular. However, the biggest difference is the new CPU. Apple’s A5 is a dual-core affair clocked at 1GHz and it’s something Apple fans would love to see in the new iPhone.
A total of six models will be available, with prices starting at $499 for the entry level model, which is in line with the first gen iPad. There has been some speculation that Apple might retain the original iPad in production for a while and offer it at a more attractive price to fend off competition from the Android camp. However, proper Android tablets cost an arm and a leg, just like the iPad, so there’s hardly any need to do so.
Jobs told the crowd that Apple held a 90 percent share in the tablet market and that it sold more than 15 million units over the past nine months. Apple is coming under increasing pressure from the competition, but delays in Android development and the unexpectedly high cost of new Android tablets is too little too late to make a dent on Apple’s iPad sales.