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02:30 PM
Kathy Burger
Kathy Burger
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Resistance is Futile: Jobs Makes Appearance to Introduce iPad2

Jobs makes appearance to introduce iPad2; new tablet device begins shipping on March 11 and is thinner and lighter than the first-generation model.

There already was plenty of buzz around Apple's introduction today of its second-generation iPad tablet, which begins shipping on March 11. The fact that CEO Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave, took the stage to make the announcement only added to the excitement and hype (perhaps replacing Charlie Sheen in the media spotlight for at least a few hours).

So what's the substance in the announcement of the "iPad 2"?

  • Thinner design -- at 8.8-mm thick, it's one-third thinner than the first-generation model. It weighs 1.3 pounds, which is .2 pounds less than the older model.
  • Starting price of $499 for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi-only model (same as the current starting price).
  • Rear- and front-facing cameras for recording video, taking photos and FaceTime video chat.
  • A5 dual-core processor -- Apple says this offers up to nine times faster graphics processing.
  • Available in black and white.
  • Ten-hour battery life.
  • Available on both AT&T and Verizon 3G networks.
  • A magnetic "smart cover" covers the front of the device, automatically locking it.

Jobs told the audience that 15 million iPads were sold in 2010, and showed a video that underscores just how quickly this device has pervaded both the home and the workplace. According to our colleague Fritz Nelson of InformationWeek, who is live blogging the event:

The big emphasis of this video and what Jobs has been talking about so far is on the consumer -- the retail store, showing videos of children using it to play games and draw on it, vacationers, senior citizens. But they are also showing their use in schools, particularly highlighting schools in Chicago and how it has assisted in raising test scores. Also showing the use of the iPad in hospitals -- the claim they are making is that it is allowing doctors to be more engaged with their patients, that it will "change how doctors practice medicine."

Do you already own an iPad (or any other tablet)? Will you replace it with the new model? Have you been waiting for the next generation to take the plunge? Will this introduction position the iPad more convincingly as a device to be used in businesses such as insurance companies? I expect this will be one of the hottest topics of discussion in the industry this year.

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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