Apple announces new iPad: better display, no new name

The new iPad will once again start at $499 for the 16GB version. For better or worse, the design really hasn't hasn't changed. Donald Bell/ CNET

The new iPad will once again start at $499 for the 16GB version. For better or worse, the design really hasn't hasn't changed.
Donald Bell/ CNET

(CBS News) After months of speculation, Apple announced the latest iPad Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. This third-generation iPad will feature pricing options similar to previous models and a better display.

Apple CEO Tim Cook started off the event by talking about the "post-PC revolution," including hand-held devices like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Cook went on to say Apple sold 172 million "post-PC" devices last year, making up 76 percent of Apple's revenue, 62 million iOS devices were sold in just in the last quarter.

"When we set out to create the iPad," Cook said, "we set out to create not just a new product, but a new category, and we said that in order to do that, the iPad had to be the best device for doing the kinds of things you do the most often, things like browsing the web or checking email." Cook noted that 5.5 million iPads were sold last quarter alone.

Here's a rundown of what we finally learned about the device:

Pricing and availability

iPad

Price: $499, $599 and $699 for 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB respectively and available in black or white.

Available: March 16 with pre-orders starting today.

Predictions hits and misses

Retina Display - true

It was widely reported that the new iPad 3 would have 2,048 x 1,536 display. Confirmed! The iPad will have 2,048 x 1,536 pixel Retina Display. That's 3.1 million pixels.

"To this day no one has yet matched that display technology on any mobile device. We're going to bring it to the 9.7 inch screen of the iPad. This presents a problem for us, though for the first time an iPad has a higher resolution than even the display behind me," said Phil Shiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

While it's not the true definition of Retina Display, it all has to do with how far you hold the device from your eyes. When held closer than 15-inches away, it crosses the Retina Display threshold, with 44 percent greater saturation.

iPad HD name - false

One of the biggest last-minute rumors is that it wouldn't be called the iPad 3 at all. Many believed it would be called the iPad HD. From the lack of an official name, we can only speculate that Apple is stripping away the numbering convention and going with just "iPad."

A6 chip - false

Previous rumors debated whether or not the A6 chip would be quad-core or dual-core, but everyone agreed that there would be an A6 chip.

Not quite the A6 quad-core everyone predicted. Shiller presented the A5X chip, which has quad-core graphics capabilities.

Siri - false

Apple's digital personal assistant is on everyone's wish-list for the next iPad. While Siri is technically still in beta, the overall feeling was that Apple will port the app over to the new tablet.

While Siri is getting an updated on iOS 5.1, it hasn't been included in this version of the iPad.

4G/LTE - true

The Wall Street Journal reported that Verizon and AT&T would both offer a version of the iPad that feature 3GPP long term evolution (LTE), which is often referred to as 4G. Confirmed!

"LTE for max of 72Mbps. It's amazing, you're going to love using it on these new high-speed networks," Shiller said. Both AT&T and Verizon will each have separate LTE models.

The new iPad supports HSPA+ and DC- DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps

Better camera - true

The new iSight camera features 5-megapixels, advanced optics, face detection and autofocus with white balance. Now, there will a built-in camera with full 1080p video recording and image stabilization.

What else is new?

Better battery life

"You may be thinking, a lot of these technologies consume a fair amount of power. So how does it do on battery life? You may recall we claim 10 hours of battery life, and 9 hours on 3G," Shiller said.

Voice dictation

The new iPad will feature voice dictation in US English, British, Australian, French, German and Japanese.

iPad hot spot

The iPad can also function as a personal hotspot, if your carrier supports it.

"This new iPad has the most wireless bands of any device that has ever shipped," Schiller said.

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