Apple’s iPad 2, iOS 4.3, Smart Cover and More

iPad 2 Smart Cover-2 Photo 2-1

iPad 2 Smart Cover-2 Photo 2-1

This week we saw the new iPad 2 being unveiled at the special media event on March 2nd where Steve Jobs gave everyone a pleasant surprise by attending the event. The coming week will prove to be even more exciting as Apple’s second gen iPad will go on sale on March 11th and we will also see the release of iOS 4.3.

Amid a lot of buzz and speculation about what could be announced Apple finally announced the new iPad with an all-new design which is thinner than anyone could have imagined. Apple’s second generation iPad is 33% thinner and 15% lighter even after adding two cameras, new A5 processor and gyroscope while still retaining the “legendary” 10 hours battery life.

Even though many expected Apple to introduce a minor update and then launch iPad 3  within 6 months we believe the second gen iPad can certainly be considered as a major update. Also, it’s worth noting that Steve Jobs during his keynote said that 2011 will be the year of iPad 2, so that statement clearly rules out any possibility of another update before 2012.

Apple shared some details about iOS 4.3 which will also ship on March 11th and feature improvements in Safari, enhance AirPlay and enable ‘Personal HotSpot’ feature for iPhone 4 users.

Tablet computers have often been criticized for being more about content consumption and less about content creation and Apple aims to change that with the iPad 2. The second gen tablet provides a great platform for artists and amateurs to leverage the power of mobility without compromising on quality. With new apps like iMovie and GarageBand for iPad Apple is providing great tools for people to create content. The iPad App Store has over 65,000 apps so you are very likely to find an app which either solves a problem or provides an intuitive way to perform your regular tasks. Whether it’s creating presentations with Keynote, updating sales figures in Numbers, writing your next article in Pages or playing your favorite iOS game; the iPad has all the capabilities which a multi-purpose device should have.

The new Smart Covers is really a testament of how closely the team at Apple works towards creating integrated products. The design of smart cover clearly shows the attention to detail during the design process and providing solutions which just work. Apple has been intentional in the way they have marketed the new accessory which almost gives an impression that it is a part of the product rather than something which is an extra. I have never seen Apple marketing any accessory to such an extent that it features on almost all product description pages and introductory videos.

Apple is aiming to produce 40 million iPads this year according to a report by DigiTimes which we recently reported and 15 million of those would be shipped in the second quarter. So, it seems that all production issues have been sorted and the Cupertino based company is all set to have iPads in volume.

While we didn’t hear anything about MobileMe or iTunes in the cloud the rumors continue to suggest that Apple is working on unlimited downloads and wireless streaming of content from iOS devices.

This is just the beginning, as new tablet PC’s hit the market and try to compete for market share we will see this new category of products mature which will only lead to better tablets in the future.

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Ravin MohindruApple’s iPad 2, iOS 4.3, Smart Cover and More