iPad2 gives Apple an edge
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.’’