Apple ups the pizzazz
Ipad has new features and a price cut, writes Jennifer Dudley-nicholson
AFTER creating the tablet market in 2010, Apple will seek to lock down its leading position with a third edition of the popular tablet this week.
The company, which has sold more than 55 million ipads to date, will launch the new tablet in Australian stores on Friday, with new features and a lower price.
While experts have labelled the upgrades incremental and the company faces stronger competition than ever, consumers will have the final say, starting in Australia.
Below is a breakdown of the new ipad’s major upgrades, as unveiled in San Francisco last week. and Optus will use the 1800MHZ frequency, not supported by this ipad; a distinction that Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi says could confuse some Australian users.
‘‘ They should have had it certified on the Telstra network and had it ready to go at launch,’’ Fadaghi says.
But the tablet will be compatible with dual-carrier HSPA networks in Australia, and could theoretically deliver download speeds up to 42 megabits a second, though real-world speeds are likely to be slower. Despite early rumours, Apple did not add a quad-core computer processor to its latest tablet, as in some of its rivals.
Instead, the company opted for a quad-core graphics processing unit on its A5X chip.
Experts forecasting a smaller version were also proven wrong and this ipad actually added a little weight and bulk (49g and 0.61mm). While Apple maintained ipad 2 pricing for the new model in the US, Australia won a discount due to the strong dollar.
It will be offered in Australia for $40 (wi-fi) or $50 (4G) less than the previous model.
The 16GB ipad 2 will remain on sale and will receive a $150 price cut to $429; a saving Fadaghi says will make competing with Apple’s tablets increasingly difficult for its rivals. Jennifer Dudley-nicholson travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Apple New software comes with the new ipad, as Apple has added features to its ilife apps and created an extra in iphoto. Garageband, imovie and iphoto apps will be available for new and current ipads running IOS 5.1, as well as some other gadgets. iphoto, App Store, $5.49 Apple’s best-known imaging software makes its app debut in this title that offers easy ways to group, edit, show and share your pictures. The app is divided into four menus: Albums, Photos, Events and Journals. Albums can include photo galleries imported from a computer, as well as your Camera Roll and Photo Stream, while Photos shows your most recent snaps first. Though the app is available on both the ipad and iphone, the larger screen makes it easier to use. imovie, App Store, $5.49 Like its big Mac relative, the imovie app now lets you create authenticlooking feature film trailers using your own videos, and adds an easy-to-use storyboard menu system. Users can choose from nine trailer themes such as fairytale, narrative, retro and romance to add their own clips to matching theme music, graphics and sound effects. The storyboard shows what shots are needed to make the trailer look its best (eg. group shots, close-ups) and these can be filmed within the app to stick close to the script. Only ipad 2 and iphone 4/4S users can access the new trailer feature. Garageband, App Store, $5.49 Apple’s music-making software lets others join the virtual band in the latest update. A new feature called Jam Session lets up to four virtual instrument strummers combine their talents to record a song, with each track being uploaded to and recorded on the band leaders ipad, ipod or iphone. The results can now be stored in Apple’s icloud. Jam Session is only available on the iphone 4/4S, ipads and fourth generation ipod Touch.
Progress: Apple boss Tim Cook unveils the new ipad, to launch in Australia on Friday.