Apple gathered European journalists in Kings Cross, London today to host a video link to the big announcement happening in San Francisco at Apple HQ. Following months of speculation, rumours and a fair bit of cynicism following the iPhone 4S launch last year (when fans expected iPhone 5) Apple’s Tim Cook took to the stage to tell the world about the ‘new’ iPad.
“I’d like to talk about the post-pc revolution” he began, in a speech that repeated the phrase ‘post pc-revolution’ countless times in a clear swipe at PC manufacturers. “We’re talking about the devices that you need to be portable and they’re easier to use than a PC has ever been” said Cook. “Any company would be thrilled to have one of these devices, at Apple we’re fortunate enough to have three”.
“Our largest store just opened in Amsterdam” he beamed, which means there’s now 362 Apple Stores globally. “The turn out was off the chart for the Grand Union station store opening in New York” Cook says. Cue Grand Union station video, with borderline religious overtones. It’s “as if Apple brought America” says FT journalist beside What Mobile.
Then a stat burst – 315 million iOS devices sold so far…25 billions apps downloaded. “A mind blowing figure we couldn’t have imagined when we launched the app store” says Cook. There’s 100 million customers of iCloud so far and then there’s the announcement of 1080p HD videos now compatible with iCloud.
Next, Cook pushes Siri and shows Aussie, French and German variations and announces a Japanese version of Siri as part of iOS 5.1, available today. Cook calls Siri ‘a success’.
Apple research claims iPad is favorite device for emails, reading books and playing games. This is an unspecified focus group which leads the hard sell for apps, pushing education and business before games. “You won’t find these apps on other tablets” he says. Cook then shows a Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Twitter – “looks like a blown-up smartphone app, because that’s what it is!” begins the Android attack and Samsung baiting. Remember, Steve Jobs felt Android was stealing Apple ideas and Apple has taken legal action against Samsung…
Next, the big reveal – the ‘new iPad’ as Apple call it. No iPad 3, no iPad HD or S terminology.
The new iPad “makes amazing improvements while retaining everything that people love about it” Cook says. Here’s the headline spec…
- Retina display – “until you see it, you can’t understand how incredible it it” says Cook.
- 3.1 million pixels – “1 million more pixels than your HDTV” says Cook.
- 264 pixels per inch display.
- 44% greater colour saturation than iPad 2.
- Apple A5X chip – quad-core chip, designed to use the extra pixels. Apple claim A5X is three times more powerful than the Tegra 3 seen in new Android tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime.
- 5 megapixel iSight camera, backside illumination, auto-exposure, auto-focus, auto face detection, auto-exposure lock.
- HD video recording at 1080p.
- Voice dictation “you can type or speak” say Apple before showing a video which takes 4 seconds to translate a paragraph of 60 odd words. Purple balls hover and become words as you speak. We hope it works better than Siri.
- New wireless functions – HSPA+, 4GLTE.
- iPhoto app available for image editing – new brushes, multi-touch editing, photo-beaming between Apple devices, ‘photo journals’ and more.
- Two versions of new iPad in US due to different networks, both ’3G world ready’.
“The most wireless bands of any device that has ever shipped” say Apple.
- Personal hotspot function – for up to 5 devices.
- Battery life – 10 hours battery life (same as iPad 2) – 9 hours on 4G.
- 1.4 pounds
- black and white colours
- £399 for 16GB, £479 for 32GB, £559 for 64GB
- UK launch – March 16th
- UPDATE: iPad 2 price drop to £329 in UK
We’ll have more updates and a hands-on report tomorrow…