Apple Inc. unveils iPad 2 tablet

In a media event on March 2, Apple Inc. unveiled its iPad 2 tablet computer, the successor to the company’s iPad. The announcement was made at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs appeared at the event and introduced the new product, with FaceTime video messaging (with front and rear cameras) as well as a new dual-core Apple A5 processor.

Apple ipad 2.

The iPad 2 is an all new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on an dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover’ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime. The new tablet is 15% lighter and 33% thinner than the previous version – thinner than an iPhone 4 – and has beveled edges. It will be available in black and white. The device continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

The announcement comes after months of rumors about a successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. One research analyst predicted that iPads would still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. Another analyst credited the Apple’s App store for iPad’s continued success. The device will become available in the United States on March 11, 2011, available in 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes. iPad 2’s 3G models can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless and Wi-Fi. The iPad 2 will start at US$499. In tandem with the announcement, Apple reduced the price of its original iPad to US$399. Shares of Apple inc. rose $2.81, closing at US$352.12 the day of the announcement.

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Research in Motion to launch new tablet device

Canadian technology company Research in Motion (RIM) is expected to unveil a new tablet device early next week at a developers conference. The device, which unnamed sources claim is called the BlackPad, will be launched by the end of this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. If the device is released, it will compete with Apple’s iPad and also with Samsung’s GalaxyTab which runs on the Android operating system. RIM is best known for their line of BlackBerry smartphones.

Research in Motion to launch new tablet PC

According to InformationWeek, the BlackPad will run a new operating system developed by QNX, which RIM bought earlier in 2010. Future BlackBerry smartphones might also use this new operating system. If RIM uses the QNX operating system, the company’s new Blackberry 6 operating system will be retired early. The device is also expected to have a camera and a seven inch touch screen.

RIM has been steadily losing market share to Apple and Google’s Android. RIM is expected to capture 11.7% of the smartphone market in 2014, a plunge from the 17.5% it currently holds, according to Gartner. Some people are optimistic about RIM’s probable venture into tablet devices, such as Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies, who said that “if you’re a smartphone vendor today the natural way to continue to growing  your business would be to introduce a tablet.” However, Sameet Kanade, analyst with Northern Securities, has more doubts, stating that the tablet market is “a market that RIM has no exposure or experience in.”

Other companies have announced their intention to launch rivals to the iPad. Motorola has said that they will launch a rival to the iPad in early 2011, while Samsung and Dell have already released similar devices. Microsoft has also announced that they will develop software to rival Apple’s tablet device.

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