LONDON – The iPad 2 has been officially revealed and will ship internationally from 25 March.
The iPad 2 has an A5 chipset with dual core processors. It’s twice as fast as before on CPU and nine times faster on graphics.
Apple has said it has the same low power as the A4 chipset, meaning it has maintained its 10-hour battery life.
It’s 8.8mm thick, meaning it’s slimmer than the iPhone 4. It’s also lighter than before, weighing 1.3 pounds.
It has a front and rear camera and a gyroscope similar to the iPhone 4.
From day one, the iPad will be available in black and white. It will be shipped internationally, including to Ireland from 25 March. The prices will be the same as the previous iPad model.
There will be a HDMI adaptor available for the device which can display video on another screen at 1,080p.
iOS 4.3 and new apps
The announcement also introduced iOS 4.3, which doubles performance on its web browser Safari.
It includes the ability to share content from iTunes wirelessly onto other devices.
Apps coming to the new iPad include Photobooth, Facetime, iMovie and Garage Band.
Photobooth and Facetime will work similarly to their Mac counterparts. Facetime will also work from iPad 2 tablets to iPhone 4 devices from the day of release.
The iMovie app will work on both iPads and iPhones, bringing precision editing multitrack audio recording, new themes and the ability to share videos in HD.
The Garage Band app will feature 8-track recording and pressure sensitive controls on instruments. It will also feature Smart Instruments, which simplifies the controls of each instrument for those not trained in music.
The European launch of the iPad 2 took place in San Francisco, which was streamed to the BBC in London.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unexpectedly took the stage at the iPad press conference in San Francisco, welcomed by a loud applause. There was much speculation as to whether or not he’d attend at all, due to the recent sick leave he took from the company.
"We’ve been working on this project for a while and I didn’t want to miss today," said Jobs.
Jobs said Apple recently paid out US$2bn to developers in total from selling apps on the App Store.
He also said the company has shipped its 100 millionth iPhone and sold 15m iPads in 2010, more than every other tablet competitor ever.
In 2010, the iPad earned US$9.5bn, making it "the most successful consumer product ever" according to Apple. It has 90pc market share, which "flummoxed" competitors, said Jobs.