iPad2 gives Ap­ple an edge

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

THE new iPad went on s a l e a t Appl e s t o r e s across the United States yes­ter­day as the gad­get­maker seeks to stay a step ahead of its ri­vals in the boom­ing mar­ket for sleek, touch­screen tablet com­put­ers.

Ap­ple will be tak­ing on­line or­ders for the iPad 2, which was un­veiled by chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Jobs last week.

The iPad 2, which is one-third thin­ner, nearly 15 per cent lighter and faster than the model re­leased last April, will go on sale in an­other two d o z e n c o u n t r i e s o n March 25.

Be­sides the size and weight, the other ma­jor im­prove­ment to the new iPad is the ad­di­tion of cam­eras that al­low users to take still pic­tures and video and hold video con­ver­sa­tions.

Ap­ple sold 15 mil­lion iPads last year, bring­ing in $ 10.02 bil­lion in new

RE­FINED: The iPad2 is now on sale in the US rev­enue and cre­at­ing an en­tirely new cat­e­gory of con­sumer elec­tron­ics.

Dozens of other com­pa­nies have been scram­bling since then to bring their own touch­screen tablets to mar­ket, most of them re­ly­ing on Google’s An d r o i d s o f t wa r e t o power the ma­chines.

But with the ex­cep­tion of the Galaxy Tab from South Korea’s Sam­sung, ri­val tablet-mak­ers have en­joyed lit­tle suc­cess.

Tech­nol­ogy re­search firm Gart­ner is fore­cast- ing sales of 55 mil­lion tablet com­put­ers world­wide this year and ano t h e r r e s e a r c h f i r m, For­rester, said Ap­ple has lit­tle to worry about for now.

‘‘ Com­pet­ing tablets to the iPad are poised to fail, which is why we’re fore­cast­ing that Ap­ple will have at least 80 per cent share of the US con­sumer tablet mar­ket in 2011,’’ For­rester said.

The iPad 2 ar­rives in US stores to mostly glowing re­views from the in­fluen- tial tech­nol­ogy colum­nists of The Wall Street Jour­nal and The New York Times. ‘‘ While it’s evo­lu­tion­ary rather than rev­o­lu­tion­ary like the first model, the changes Ap­ple has made are gen­er­ally pleas­ing and posit i v e , a n d t h e d e v i c e worked very well for m e , ’ ’ t h e J o u r n a l ’ s Wal­ter Mossberg said.

Mossberg said the iPad 2 ‘‘ keeps Ap­ple ahead in the tablet race, at least for now’’. But he was crit­i­cal of the qual­ity of the pho­tos taken by its still cam­eras and its in­abil­ity to play Adobe Flash video.

While pleased with the iPad 2 over­all, Mossberg said it was not a must buy for own­ers of the old model. ‘‘ Un­less you are des­per­ate for the cam­eras or f eel you are l a b o u r i n g u n d e r t h e greater bulk of the orig­i­nal model, I don’t ad­vise it.’’

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