Live summary of Apple's San Francisco event

Today Apple announced a new iPad with a retina display, 4G LTE, better camera, and a faster A5X CPU, plus a new Apple TV with 1080p output.
Written by Ed Burnette, Contributor

Rather than doing a time-based scrolling feed of today's event, this time we're bringing you a curated summary of the important announcements. For a more conventional scrolling liveblog, see CNET's Apple iPad live blog. After the event, be sure to join Tech Republic's Let's talk iPad webcast.

Major announcements:

  • New iPad announced, available March 16, pre-orders open today starting at $499
    • Retina display (2048x1536 resolution / 9.7in = 264dpi). Existing apps will be scaled up automatically, but developers can add support for retina display
    • A5X dual core processor with "quad core graphics", estimated at 2x faster than iPad2, 4x faster than Tegra 3
    • iSight camera: 5 Megapixels, backside illumination, 5-element lens, autofocus, face detection, 1080p video
    • Voice dictation: microphone icon in the keyboard
    • 4G LTE:  21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, LTE at 73Mbps. Supported networks: AT&T, Verizon, Telus, Rogers, and Bell
    • 9.4mm thick, 1.4lbs. Comes in black or white.
    • Battery rated for 10 hours on 3G, 9 hours on 4G.
    • WiFi: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB
    • 4G: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, $829 for 64GB (=$130 premium)

  • iPad 2 reduced in price to $399 for 16GB WiFi, $529 for 16GB 3G.
  • New Apple TV announced, supports 1080p. Coming March 16, $99. Pre-orders open today.
  • iOS 5.1 available now, includes Japanese Siri
  • New iPhoto for iPad completes the iLife suite there, supports editing, beaming, and journals

Miscellaneous facts:

  • 315M iOS devices sold, 62M in Q4 2011
  • 55M iPads sold, 15.4M iPads in Q4 2011
  • 200K apps custom built to take advantage of the iPad screen
  • iPad 2 had 3.1Mbps on EV-DO, 7.2 on HSPA.

Notable demos on stage:

  • Namco showed "Sky Gamblers", a flight sim game
  • Autodesk showed "Sketchbook Ink", a drawing app that focuses on line art (available in April), supports exports up to 100Mpixels.
  • Epic Games showed "Infinity Blade: Dungeons", a 3rd person RPG game
  • Apple apps such as iWork, GarageBand, iMovie (still $9.99) and new iPhoto.
    • Connect up to 4 iOS devices together with GarageBand over WiFi or Bluetooth for a live jam session.
    • iMovie for iPad can create movie trailers like the Mac version does.
    • New iPhoto app can beam pictures to other iPads, heavy use of gestures including bezel gestures. Edit, straighten, and fix. Supports up to 19 Mpixels.
    • Share pictures into a journal, annotate with text, maps, even weather info.

In case you're wondering, it looks like the new iPad is just called "The New iPad" or "The 3rd generation iPad", not iPad3 or iPad HD or any of the other names that were rumored before the event. You can call it the "4G iPad" if you like, but 4G is extra cost. The new iPad uses the same dock connector as the current iPads, which debunks another rumor.

The A5X is described as a "dual core CPU with a quad core GPU". I'm not sure exactly what that means. Most GPUs are way more than quad core - for example the Tegra 3 has 12 graphics processors that operate in parallel. Also unknown is the chip's clock rate and the size of the iPad's memory. These details will probably come out next week when people start tearing them apart.

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