Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at Apple's San Francisco event this afternoon to deliver his keynote and announce "the new iPad" with retina display and a A5X quad-core processor.
A new iPad
"We think that iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world," said Cook. "The momentum behind iPad has been incredible and it has surprised virtually everyone.
"When we set out to create the iPad we set out to create not just a new product but a new category. In order to do that, the iPad had to be the best device for doing some of the things that you do most often. This is remarkable for a device that has been on the market for less than two years."
Cook added that when questioned, iPad users said they prefer the device for browsing and to play games on more than any other device - more so than consoles - and over 200,000 custom apps have been created specifically for the iPad.
15.4 million iPad's were sold in Q4 2011 and as of Q1 2012 55 million iPads have been sold.
Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller took the stage after Cook's announcement to talk about the new tablet which has a higher resolution of 2048 x 1536 and contains a total of 3.1 million pixels and can be held at 15 inches with 44% better color saturation. It contains a A5X processor with quad-core graphics.
The pad contains the iSight camera which contains 1080p video recording, 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, IR filter, and ISP built into the A5X chip - basically the same set-up as iPhone 4S.
It also contains a microphone which supports US English, British, Australian, French, German and Japanese.
Another feature announced was AT&T 4G LTE and it now has 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, with LTE at 73Mbps. Verizon LTE was announced as well and Vimeo was shown running in order for folks to gauge the speed.
Rogers, Bell, and Telus will also be LTE partners in the US and other carriers around the world will partner with Apple as well. The various bands of LTE put there will mean separate devices for AT&T and Verizon - of course - and 3G is still enabled so no worries there and if the carrier supports it, the new iPad can be used as a personal hotspot. It also has Home button.
"It's no small feat," said Schiller. "This new iPad has the most wireless bands that has ever shipped."
It boasts 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours on 4G, is 9.4mm thin, weighs 1.4lbs, doesn't contain a new Dock Connector, and will run you $499 for 16GB, 32GB for $599 and 64GB for $699. If you want 4G it's $629, $729 and $829. Same prices as current iPad, and it's available on March 16 in US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan.
March 23 elsewhere.
You can pre-order today.
iPad 2 is getting $100 knocked off as well, and it will now run you $399 for a 16GB WiFi model and $529 for the WiFi/3G version.
Games and Apps
Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, took the stage to announce Infinity Blade: Dungeons. You're on a quest to craft the "ultimate weapon" -the Infinity Blade. It has HDR graphics and tone-mapping. It allows players form chain-attack, and freeze them even.
"This new device has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3." - Epic president Mike Capps.
There'll be a new crafting system, dungeon crafting.
"It's only going to look like this and play like this on the new iPad, " said Capps.
"The Unreal engine is unleashing the power of the new iPad," he added. "This new device has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3."
The game was listed as "coming soon."
James Shelton from Namco took the stage to announce Sky Gamblers, which looked a bit like the latest Ace Combat according to Engadget. The demo showed 50 jets dogfighting, it was "console quality" according to Shelton, and and iOS-exclusive launching later this month.
iPhoto with new gestures, new effects, multi-touch editing, the ability to beam photos directly between devices was announced as well as updates to iMovie, and Garage Band.
A good Q4 2011
Apple has said last year it sold 172 million post-PC devices which was 76% of its revenues of Q4 2011.
The firm also has 362 retail stores, and 110 million visitors walked through the doors during Q4 2011.
According to Cook, "iPhone, iPad, iPod touch are all based on iOS and we have now sold an astonishing 315 million devices through last year, 62 million in Q4 2011."
Siri will also see a Japanese release and part of iOS 5.1 will be available today, and rolling out to Japan "over the next few weeks."
Cook also said during his keynote that 585,000 apps are currently in the store and 25 billion have been downloaded - the 25 billionth of which was downloaded in China.
Apple TV and iCloud
Over 100 million people use iCloud and iTunes now supports movies in iCloud allowing you to re-download movies you've purchased on any device, and movies and TV shows now support 1080p thanks to the new Apple TV which supports 1080p with a "streamlined new user interface."
Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, took the stage to demo the new Apple TV which has a new UI in full 1080p and users can find their iTunes playlists from iCloud on it with thrid-party apps are much easier to access as well.
It also recommends movies based on what users have watched - Engadget noted it took 10 seconds for a movie to start playing on the device.
It will run you $99.
A live blog of the event can be found over on Engadget. Much thanks to the site for the coverage and the lovely photos from the event.
Apple has released a video for the new iPad and you can watch it below.