This is about 9 months since the first iPad was released. The device has sold 15 million units. According to some analysts, this makes it the fastest selling consumer technology product ever.
I have to admit that I did not think the iPad would catch on. It seemed a little heavy in the hand, and was rumored to run hot. I figured that this product was over priced, at $499 for an 8GB WiFi model and $829 for a 64GB WiFi / 3G model. While the usability features, such as “instant on,” would make it easy to use it was really just, as one commentator said, “An iPhone for Hagar the Horrible.” It seems a device for content consumption, not content creation. I’m also simply a contrarian, and never bothered to get an iPhone. I have an Android, and prior to that had smartphones from Palm and Handspring since, oh, about 2001….
In the last nine months, tens of thousands of apps were delivered. $2 billion dollars has been paid out to the software developers of those apps. While many of the apps are content creation apps, most are content consumption apps. But of course, we do an awful lot of that on the web anyway.
The new iPad sports both front- and rear-facing cameras, with the rear camera capturing 720p video. It’s 1/3 lighter, 2x as fast, and with 9x the video processing power. I look at those specs, and, seeing a lighter unit, with this many apps, and this kind of performance, and I myself am tempted. Not only could this be a lightweight way to travel, it looks like a lot of fun, and the apps keep coming….
The iPad 2 is officially available next Friday, 11 March 2011, at Apple Stores and on the web at Apple.com. The new iPad supports Verizon as well as AT&T 3G networks.
Here’s a comparison of the specs, with specs that are either iPad 1 specific or iPad 1-only (as found on the Wayback Machine) with iPad 2 specs highlighted.
9.56 inches (242.8 mm) 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
7.47 inches (189.7 mm) 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
0.5 inch (13.4 mm) 0.34 inch (8.8 mm)
1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) Wi-Fi model 1.33 pounds (601 g)
1.6 pounds (0.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model 1.35 pounds (607 g)
9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive
1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
Ambient light sensor
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
Audio formats supported: HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 [iPad 2: 8] to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4, [iPad 2: Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+] Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
User-configurable maximum volume limit
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through with Apple Digital AV Adapter (sold separately)
Cameras, Photos, and Video Recording
Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera
Tap to control exposure for video or stills
Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi
TV and video
Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable
H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p with Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (cables sold separately) Video out support at 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format