Tim Cook started today’s Apple media event by reminding us what many people thought of the iPad when it was released 3.5 years ago. They predicted it wasn’t going to amount to anything, and didn’t see how anyone could use it. Fast forward to today, and Apple has sold 170 million iPads and has an 81% tablet share. What impresses Tim and everyone at Apple are the many creative ways people are using the iPad in all aspects of their lives.
Looking ahead, Apple is releasing the next generation iPad with a new name: the iPad Air. It has the same 9.7″ retina display with a 43% smaller bezel and is 20% thinner than the previous model. It weighs only 1 poundm compared to the current 1.4 pounds, which makes it the lightest tablet in the world.
The iPad Air uses the A7 chip which was introduced with the iPhone 5s. It has 8 times the CPU and 32 times the GPU performance over the original iPad. It’s twice as fast at opening files, has two antennas for double the WiFi performance, expanded LTE support, 5 megapixel iSight camera and an improved FaceTime HD camera, two microphones for better audio capture, is very environmentally friendly, and still has a 10-hour battery life. You also now have more color options to choose from, because the iPad Air is available in silver/white and space gray / black.
The iPad Air starts at $499 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and $629 with cellular. The old iPad 2 will still be sold, and will stay at $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model. The iPad Air starts shipping on November 1st. Once you get your hands on one, you’ll want to protect it from bumps and scratches; a new cover is available in many colors for $39, along with cases for $79.
Product [iPad Air]