Apple ups the pizzazz.
Apple’s ipad has new features and a price cut, writes Jennifer DudleyNicholson 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 month.
The company, which has sold more than 55 million ipads to date, launched the new tablet in Australian stores recently, 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 earlier this month.
PIXEL PARTY Arguably the biggest upgrade to the new ipad is its screen. As predicted by many, the third- generation ipad will feature a Retina Display that offers double the resolution and four times as many pixels as the ipad 2.
As a result, the screen can now show off full high- definition footage as it was intended to be seen and, worldwide marketing vice- president Phil Schiller contends, delivers enough pixel density that you can’t pick out the pixels with the naked eye.
‘‘ When you turn on that new ipad you are going to see graphics, text and icons sharper than you imagine,’’ he says.
The ipad’s screen will feature lower pixel density than the iphone 4S screen, at 264 pixels per inch, versus 326ppi, but Apple says its colour contrast will also be boosted by 44 per cent.
Graphics- heavy apps will need to be upgraded to make full use of the enhanced screen.
CAMERA IN FOCUS The ipad 2 added cameras for the first time but the third ipad takes photography more seriously. The tablet’s new rear camera will feature a five- megapixel backlit sensor and a five- element lens like that of the iphone 4S.
The so- called isight camera will also have a wide f2.4 aperture for low- light shooting, automatic face detection, infra- red filter for more accurate colour and the ability to capture full HD video. Results appear similar to a reasonable phone camera.
4G OR NOT 4G Apple’s incoming tablet will be the first 4G product for the company, but it will not be compatible with Australia’s current 4G ( LTE) networks.
Telstra and Optus networks 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 deliver download speeds up to 42 megabits a second, though real- world speeds are likely to be slower.
WHAT’S MISSING 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).
NEW PRICING 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.