Australians will be able to order the third generation iPad from today (or queue up for one on March 16 when it ships). They’ll do this because it offers retina-ish display (try a million more pixels than HDTV, at four times as many pixels per inch as the previous model) and a vastly improved camera (5 megapixels, in line with that of the current model iPhone).
At 9.4mm thick and 680g, it’s a similar size but a little heavier than the last model – in fact back to around the weight of the launch iPad. Pricing starts at $539 (the base model iPad 2 moves down to $429).
Apple says it sold 15.4 million iPads in the last quarter … that’s a nation-full of people who may be wishing they’d waited till this week.
When uBookish checked at 6am, orders were yet to open as the Australian version of Apple’s online store was closed. “We’ll be back soon … we’re busy updating the store for you and will be back shortly.” At 7am, the site crashed altogether. My browser offered this message: “The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy”. (Update: By 8am the site was live for pre-orders)
The 4G-ready device (though there has been no announcement about 4G connectivity for the iPad in Australia) comes in black and white, like the iPad 2.
The camera and the 2047 x 1536 display (iPad 2 has 1024×768) are the reasons for this.
The retinal screen will display a million more pixels than HDTV, according to Apple, which also claims it’ll offer 264 pixels per inch and 44pc better colour saturation.
So from 15 inches, you won’t be able to distinguish a pixel, Gizmodo reports. It’s not quite as brilliant as the latest model iPhone display, which offers 326 pixels per inch for optimised viewing at 10 inches.
For readers, this is great news. The crystal clear rendering of text on the iPhone 4 makes for magical reading – better than on the printed page were it not for the screen size. App publishers will now rush to update existing and upcoming titles to make the most of the new display.
If only Apple would reconsider and launch a 7-inch model for ereading … the iPad really is too heavy to carry everywhere, leaving many ebook fans stuck with a Kindle, Sony Reader or Kobo as well.
As for the camera, its specs are on par with the latest iPhone at 5-megapixels with side-illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, infrared filter, auto-exposure, auto-focus, auto-face detection and HD video recording.
The device will sport an A5X chip with quad core graphics.
It’ll cost $539 including GST for the 16GB model, $649 for the 32GB and $759 for the 64GB. The Wi-Fi + 4G will start at $679 for the 16GB model, rising to $789 for the 32GB model and $899 for the 64GB.
Apple also announced that there are now more than 200,000 native iPad apps.
A new version of its Apple TV gadget is available for order now and will ship the same day as the iPad. It will cost $109.
It offers an updated user interface and improved program availability (the day after broadcast TV has its turn).
For a full wrap and a blow-by-blow look at this morning’s launch, check out Gizmodo.com.
Please note, this post was originally published at 7am AEST on March 8. This version is unchanged but was reinstated on March 12 following a server outage.