Apple just threw a curve ball that would make the San Francisco Giants’ Brian Wilson proud. The Cupertino company unveiled in the eccentric pitcher’s backyard today the newest addition to its record-setting iPad tablet line, eschewing rumored names for a much simpler one: the new iPad.
Speaking at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller showed off the new iPad to a packed house of journalists.
Easily the device’s biggest draw is the addition of true 1080p high-definition visuals, courtesy of a 2048×1536 QXGA Retina display. That’s twice the resolution and quadruple the pixel count of the iPad 2, explained Philip Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Apple.
“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,” said Schiller.
Apple noted that the count is one million greater than what’s included in most HDTVs, rendering individual pixels invisible to the naked eye and colors 44 percent more vibrant. Behind the tablet’s stunning screen is a quad-core version of Apple’s own A5 chip. According to Apple, the A5X offers double the default chip’s power while retaining up to 10 hours of battery life.
Support for Verizon and AT&T 4G LTE networks is also a go, providing users a good excuse to avoid public Wi-Fi.
Rounding out the tablet’s new features is an improved five megapixel iSight camera. Introduced in the original iPad, the upgraded model allows for 1080p HD photography and video recording.
Pricing should be familiar to Apple-holics: a 16GB model for $499, a 32GB model for $599 and a 64GB model for $699. The company has opened up pre-orders for the new iPad, which will hit stores on March 16. Analysts are already predicting shortages.
Overshadowed by the big iPad reveal but still worth noting, the company announced an upgraded Apple TV model is also due in stores that same day. The streaming player boasts a new UI and 1080p visuals. Pricing will match its previous iteration — $99.