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Steve Jobs Introduces iPad 2

The Officially Branded iPad 2, Priced the same as the Original, Has Got a New Dual-Core A5 Processor

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, still looking thin but saying he didn't want to miss the event, came back from his open-ended medical leave Wednesday to introduce the iPad 2 to a standing ovation.

 He described the widget, available in black and white on Friday March 11 at 5pm in the US and March 26 in 26 other countries, as a new design, not a tweak.

 The officially branded iPad 2, priced the same as the original, has got a new dual-core A5 processor, reportedly made by Qualcomm, that's supposed to make compute twice as fast and graphics nine times faster in the same power envelop as the first iPad. Promised battery life remains 10 hours.

 The widget is 33% thinner than the original, squeezed from 13.4mm to 8mm - making it thinner than the iPhone - and trimmed from 1.5lbs to 1.3lbs.

 It sports the expected front- and rear-facing cameras along with a gyroscope. It will work on both the AT&T GSM and Verizon CDMA networks.

 There's no wish-list retina display, no newfangled Intel Thunderbolt port, no iOS 5 (only iOS 4.3), no talk of MobileMe integration.

 The display's resolution remains 1024x768 to the $800 Android Honeycomb-based Xoom's 1280x800.

There is a $39 HDMI video-out accessory that will display the screen on a big display at up to 1080p resolution. Jobs said schools asked for it. It supports rotation, requires no setup or configuration and works with all apps.

 There's also a new bendable screen-cleaning Smart Cover that makes the device's ports accessible. It wakes the iPad up when opened, puts it to sleep when closed, is held in place by magnets and functions as a kickstand. It will be available in five colors in both polyurethane ($39) and leather ($69).

iPad 2 will have FaceTime video chat borrowed from the iPhone that's good between two iPads, an iPad and a Mac, and an iPad and iPad Touch.

 It will also be capable of video editing.

 Storage capacity remains 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, starting at $499 and running to $829.

 Jobs claimed that iPad owns better than 90% of the market and has the competition "flummoxed." iPad has 65,000 native apps, he said, to Google's hundred. This won't be the "Year of the Copycats"; it'll be the "Year of iPad 2."

 There are now 2,500 publishers represented in iPad's iBook store and users have downloaded 100 million books.

 Apple sold 14.8 million iPads last year, good for $9.5 billion in revenue, and estimates for this year range from 30 million-40 million. The overall market for tablets could be 50 million. Talk continues of an iPad 3 in the fall.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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