Apple's third generation of iPad tablet was unveiled on Wednesday without a version number, but comes packed with a bundle of beefed up features including a higher-resolution display, faster chip, and long-term evolution (LTE) support.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement on Wednesday that the new iPad "redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago" and is touted to deliver the "most amazing" experience people have ever had with technology.
Among the new features included in the device is its "retina display" on its 9.7-inch screen, which delivers four times the number of pixels of the iPad 2, as well as a new A5X chip with quad-core graphics to double the graphics performance of its predecessor, the company said. It also has a redesigned camera and built-in 4G, or LTE, support to faster Internet connection speeds.
"The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos," Schiller commented on the display.
Apple's decision to keep the iPad name but do away with the version number meant rumors stating the new device would be christened either as iPad 3 or iPad HD were wide off the mark.
Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared to have picked up on this, too. He said in a Reuters report Wednesday: "Everyone's been wondering who will come out with a product that's more amazing than the iPad 2. Stop wondering, we are."
The cheapest Wi-Fi-only 16GB iPad will be priced at US$499, while the most expensive Wi-Fi + 4G 64GB model will cost US$829. It also cut the price of the cheapest iPad 2 model to US$399, the company stated.
Customers can already log in their preorders for the new iPad, after Cupertino said the device will be available on Mar. 16 in 12 countries initially, including Asia-Pacific markets such as Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.
Along with the new iPad, Cook also introduced the updated iOS 5.1 mobile operating system, a slew of new and updated iPad apps, and the revamped Apple TV set-top box with a new user interface and HD (high-definition) support.