Steve Jobs Steals GDC Thunder with iPad 2 Announcement

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Apple’s CEO dropped the deets today on the tech company’s latest tablet computer.

It almost seems that people started talking about the next iteration of the iPad even before the first version was sent to stores in April 2010. Now, with Jobs finally announcing the long-rumored iPad 2 today in San Francisco, people have already begun pondering an iPad 3. Perhaps that’s because the specs for the first upgrade to the iPad are less a complete overhaul and more a minor tweaking to a sleeker design. The biggest change is that the iPad 2 is a third thinner, but it’s only .2 pounds lighter. The screen is identical, while Apple added two cameras facing front and back so that it could support FaceTime and accidentally snapping photos of your crotch. Jobs said that the new iPad will support both Verizon and AT&T but those hoping for a dip in the exorbitant price are in for some disappointment. iPad 2 still costs exactly the same, that is, from $499 to a whopping $829 for a 3G enabled 64GB computer. The iPad 2 is shipping to stores on March 11, 2011.

Oh, and it comes in white.

The new iPad boasts a dual-core 1ghz CPU, so it should perform a bit better than its predecessor. Also, the iPad 2 comes shipped with an application that will allow you to turn it into a wifi hotspot for use with other devices. The cover has been re-designed to be less intrusive and come in more annoying colors than just black. You will also be able to configure the mute switch to instead disable the gyroscope used to flip between landscape and portrait views. Talk about a killer app!

In other news, I just bought a Kindle for an eighth of the price of the flagship iPad. Now, I know that the devices are not at all comparable, but I find it frustrating that Apple spends its cycles catering to the top 2% of the richest people in the world instead of trying to create affordable devices that the middle class can actually use. The worst part is that the iPad isn’t a substitute for a laptop or a home computer; it can only exist in addition to those already expensive appliances.

Anyone who has that kind of money will likely be excited for this minimal upgrade. If not, you always have the iPad 3 to look forward to. Seriously, people are already speculating another announcement before the end of 2011 and as early as September. If that’s not self-indulgent on Apple’s part, I don’t know the meaning of that word.

Source: Time

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