“We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad,” said Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook at the launch event in San Francisco.
Cook spoke of a “post-PC” era dominated by the iPad and other Apple products.
The new iPad will go on sale March 16 in the U.S., Canada, and 10 other countries. A week later, it will go on sale in 25 more countries.
The lack of a new name could cause confusion for buyers, particularly because the older model, the “iPad 2,” will still be sold. But the naming practice is consistent with Apple’s practices for the iPod. New models have been simply called “iPod.” Consumers are left to figure out which generation of the product they are looking for.
Compared with the iPad 2, the new model features a higher-resolution camera on the back, similar to the one in the iPhone 4S. The camera also includes auto focus and auto exposure features.
The new iPad will be 9.4 millimeters thick, or 0.37 inches. That compares with 8.8 millimeters, or 0.34 inches, for the iPad 2. The weight is going up from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi-only model. The original iPad weighed 1.5 pounds.
Apple also confirmed that the new model will come in a version that can use Verizon Wireless’ and AT&T Inc.’s “LTE” wireless broadband networks. They offer speeds that are faster than the “3G” networks used by previous iPads and current iPhones.
Apple is updating some of the software on the tablet to take advantage of the new features. For example, it’s introducing a version of the Mac’s iPhoto photo organization and manipulation program for the iPad.
The company also said it would start letting users store movies in its iCloud remote storage service, so they can be accessed through the internet by PCs and Apple devices. It already lets users store photos, music, and documents in the service.
Apple is also upgrading its Apple TV set-top box so it can play movies in 1080p, the highest-resolution commonly used video standard.