Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Apple Drops Prices of First Generation iPads By $100

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Apple has dropped the prices of its first generation iPads by $100 each. This makes the cheapest iPad 1G available at $399 (Wi-Fi 16GB) and most expensive available at $729 (3G 64GB).


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Apple Brings Video Mirroring to the iPad

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Alongside the unveiling of the iPad 2, Apple has announced a new video mirroring feature.

Using an adapter (sold separately) the iPad will send audio and video to an external display via HDMI. There's also a second 30-pin connector to USB cable so you can charge your iPad while presenting.

Video mirroring and video out can be performed with the Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter and supports up to 1080p.

The digital adapter costs $39 and also supports the iPhone 4 and iPod touch (4th generation).




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iPad 2 New Smart Cover

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Apple has designed a new cover for the iPad that attaches via magnets to keep your device safe without adding bulk.

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The iPad has magnets built right into its frame — magnets that align perfectly with the Smart Cover hinge for an effortless fit. On the opposite side, magnets inside the Smart Cover help it stay put. It’s ingenious yet simple. Secure yet easy to remove. In fact, the Smart Cover and iPad work so well together, it’s easy to think of them as one device.

The Smart Cover makes iPad do things no other cover can. Close it, and iPad automatically goes to sleep. Open it, and iPad instantly wakes up — no need to press any buttons. The Smart Cover doesn’t just protect iPad, it keeps it ready to go whenever you are.
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Take a look at the photos below...













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Random House Makes Entire eBook Catalog Available on iBookstore

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Apple today announced that Random House, Inc., the largest trade book publisher in the US, has made its full catalog of 17,000 ebooks available on Apple's iBookstore, including bestsellers by Stieg Larsson, John Grisham, Dan Brown, Danielle Steel, Laura Hillenbrand, Cormac McCarthy, Lee Child and many more of the world's preeminent authors. Starting today, customers can pre-order upcoming releases from Random House including Lisa Gardner's "Love You More," Suze Orman's "The Money Class" and Jean Auel's "The Land of Painted Caves." With the addition of Random House, the iBookstore now offers ebooks from all six major trade publishers and thousands of independent publishers.

"We are delighted that Apple's iBookstore now will be carrying Random House's US ebooks for the first time," said Markus Dohle, Random House's Chairman and CEO. "And we look forward to bringing our 17,000 ebooks to Apple customers."

"We're thrilled to offer Random House on the iBookstore," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet Services. "iBookstore customers have already downloaded more than 100 million books in less than one year, and we think they'll love being able to choose from Random House's incredible selection of titles to enjoy on their iPad, iPhone and iPod touch."




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Apple Introduces iOS 4.3

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Apple today introduced iOS 4.3, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. New features in iOS 4.3 include faster Safari mobile browsing performance with the Nitro JavaScript engine; iTunes Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay; the choice of using the iPad™ side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute the audio; and the Personal Hotspot feature for sharing an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.

"With more than 160 million iOS devices worldwide, including over 100 million iPhones, the growth of the iOS platform has been unprecedented," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "iOS 4.3 adds even more features to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, across three blockbuster devices—iPad, iPhone and iPod touch—providing an ecosystem that offers customers an incredibly rich experience and developers unlimited opportunities."

The Safari mobile browsing experience gets even better with iOS 4.3. The Nitro JavaScript engine that Apple pioneered on the desktop is now built into WebKit, the technology at the heart of Safari, and more than doubles the performance of JavaScript execution using just-in-time compilation. With the Nitro JavaScript engine, Safari provides an even better mobile browser experience working faster to support the interactivity of complex sites you visit on a daily basis.

New iTunes Home Sharing allows iOS 4.3 users to play music, movies and TV shows on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch from their iTunes library on a Mac or PC over a local Wi-Fi network. With a simple tap you can enjoy all the media in your iTunes library wherever you are in your home. You can stream a movie from your Mac in one room to your iPad in another or stream an iTunes mix to your iPod touch from the office to the kitchen. With Home Sharing on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you’ve got your entire iTunes library in your hands wherever you are in your home.

iOS 4.3 includes enhancements to AirPlay, the breakthrough wireless technology that allows users to stream music, photos and video to Apple TV. With iOS 4.3 you can stream additional content including video from third party apps and web sites, videos from the Photos app and previews from the iTunes app to your TV.* AirPlay also allows you to bring photos to life on the TV screen by using one of the stunning new slideshow transitions, or shoot a video on your iPad 2, iPhone or iPod touch and stream it directly from the Photos app to Apple TV.

The new Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 lets you bring Wi-Fi with you anywhere you go, by allowing you to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection with up to five devices in a combination of up to three Wi-Fi, three Bluetooth and one USB device.** Joining a Personal Hotspot is easy and once the feature is enabled a status bar displays how many devices are currently connected. Every connection is password protected and when not in use Personal Hotspot turns itself off to save battery life.

More than 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the revolutionary App Store℠ and more than 350,000 apps are available, including more than 65,000 native iPad apps, to consumers in 90 countries. Users of the more than 160 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

Availability
iOS 4.3 will be available to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users as a free software update on Friday, March 11. iOS 4.3 is compatible with iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM model), plus third and fourth generation iPod touch. For more information please visit www.apple.com.

*AirPlay video requires second generation Apple TV running the latest software.

**Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.



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Apple Launches iPad 2

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Apple today introduced iPad 2, the next generation of its magical device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading ebooks and much more. iPad 2 features an entirely new design that is 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the original iPad, while maintaining the same stunning 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. iPad 2 features Apple's new dual-core A5 processor for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics and now includes two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime and Photo Booth, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video, bringing the innovative FaceTime feature to iPad users for the first time. Though it is thinner, lighter, faster and packed with new features, iPad 2 still delivers up to 10 hours of battery life* that users have come to expect. iPad 2 is available in black or white, features models that run on AT&T's and Verizon's 3G networks, and introduces the innovative iPad 2 Smart Cover in a range of vibrant polyurethane and rich leather colors.

"With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we're launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again."

With the new front and rear cameras, iPad 2 users can now make FaceTime calls to millions of iPhone 4, iPod touch and Mac users so they can see family and friends anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Photo Booth lets you apply fun visual effects, including eight photo special effects like Squeeze, Twirl and Kaleidoscope, to photos captured by either camera.

iPad 2 comes with iOS 4.3, the latest version of the world's most advanced mobile operating system, with new features including faster Safari mobile browsing performance; iTunes Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay;** the choice to use the iPad side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute audio; and Personal Hotspot to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.*** Additional iPad 2 features include a built-in gyro for advanced gaming; HSUPA support for enhanced 3G upload speeds on iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G on AT&T, and HDMI Video Mirroring that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor.

The innovative new iPad 2 Smart Cover provides protection for the iPad screen while maintaining its thin and lightweight profile. Designed with a unique self-aligning magnetic hinge that makes it easy to attach and remove, the new iPad 2 Smart Cover automatically wakes iPad 2 when it's opened and puts it to sleep when it's closed, and has a soft microfiber lining to help keep the screen clean. The Smart Cover also folds into a stand for typing or viewing videos and is available in vibrant polyurethane for $39 or rich leather for $69 in a range of colors, including a (PRODUCT) RED one which helps support the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Apple also introduced two new apps: iMovie and GarageBand for iPad, both available on the App Store℠ for just $4.99 each. With iMovie, iPad 2 users can shoot and edit videos right on their iPad and post their movies to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and their MobileMe℠ gallery; watch them on their iPod, iPhone or iPad; as well as view them on their HDTV using AirPlay and Apple TV. GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of touch instruments and 8-track recording studio, allowing you to perform with onscreen keyboards, guitars, drums and basses using multi-touch gestures–even if you don't play a musical instrument.

iPad 2 runs almost all of the over 350,000 apps available on the App Store and there are more than 65,000 native iPad apps available from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store gives iPad users access to the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 14 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 10,000 films including over 3,500 in stunning high definition video. The iBooks app for iPad includes Apple's iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device.

Pricing & Availability
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G compatible with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 will be sold in the US through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iMovie and GarageBand for iPad apps will be available on March 11 for $4.99 each from the App Store on iPad or www.itunes.com/appstore.

iPad 2 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on March 25; and in many more countries around the world in the coming months. Further international availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.

*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
**AirPlay video requires second generation Apple TV running the latest software.
***Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.







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Apple iPad Event LiveBlog

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10:45AM
 Editing does look pretty handy on that bigger screen. "We've also done a lot of work in the audio area."



10:44AM
 Randy is doing some iMovie editing.






10:43AM
 "This looks really great on the Retina Display of the iPhone and iPod touch too."





10:43AM Ha, homescreen looks like an old theatre.
10:43AM
 "Today we've got a new version that takes advantage of the iPad 2 and its extra horsepower. I'd like to show it to you."


10:42AM Randy Ubillos is out to demo iMovie for the iPad.


10:42AM "We have a long history of video editing, and iMovie for iPad is in that vein." Precision editor, multitrack audio, new themes...


10:42AM "The first one is iMovie for iPad."


10:42AM Steve is out. "In addition to these two apps being built into iOS 4.3, we have two other new apps. And we like doing apps. It can set the bar. It sets the bar high for developers."










10:41AM "So these are just a few features in iOS 4.3, and this will be out March 11th..."





10:40AM "From day one, you can FaceTime from your iPad 2 to all the iPhone 4 customers out there."


10:40AM Demo'ing the flip feature to get to the back camera. "If Michael had children or something, this might be interesting to look at." Ha!






10:39AM And... a FaceTime call is happening.
10:40AM Demo'ing the flip feature to get to the back camera. "If Michael had children or something, this might be interesting to look at." Ha!







10:39AM "Next is FaceTime. It's the best and easiest way to video conference. We're bringing it to the iPad. You can FaceTime between two iPads, between an iPad and an iPhone, or between an iPad and a Mac." Demo time for this.

10:38AM "That's Photo Booth." Hmm.


10:38AM You can manipulate effects by touching. Pretty nifty.


10:37AM "Here I have an iPad 2 which is mirrored up there. Let me launch Photo Booth. The iPad 2 is so powerful that we're looking at 9 live video streams at once." Real time effect demos, like on a desktop. Scott is cycling though them to great hilarity.







10:36AM "Next, the iPad 2 comes with these new cameras. And we've built in some new software -- starting with Photo Booth. Let me give you a demo."

10:36AM 4.3 will add personal hotspot for the iPhone 4.




10:36AM You can now select which mode it's in.

10:35AM "Next, this is something we heard from customers. Some customers have said they want to use the switch on the device to quickly mute the device, others have asked for a switch to change the orientation lock." Ooh, backpedal!



10:35AM "When you tap on the AirPlay icon, it looks around and finds your Apple TV. It's that easy. We're making it even better in iOS 4.3. If you're sharing photos, you can use all of the built in slide show options. And now in 4.3, apps from the Store and even websites can do video or audio."




10:33AM "Along with the iPad 2, we're releasing the next release of iOS 4.3. It starts with significantly increased Safari performance. We took the Nitro JavaScript engine. Next, iTunes home sharing. It lets you get at all of your content directly over WiFi. Next, AirPlay improvements."






10:32AM Scott Forstall is out.
10:32AM "So those are the two accessories. Now let's go back into the iPad 2, because we have a new release of iOS -- iOS 4.3."



10:32AM Poly cases are $39, leather $69


10:31AM Steve is pretty stoked about this cover. "There are magnets in the hinge and the cover. And what would these cases be if they didn't come in colors. 5 poly, 5 leather."











10:31AM
 "That kind of reminds me of a Pixar short."




10:31AM Hard to describe, but let's say there was a lot of snapping this cover onto iPads.




10:30AM This is cute.


10:30AM "They come in polyurethane or leather. Here's a video."




10:30AM "It's really easy to remove or change the cover."


10:29AM "They grasp it, and auto-align it. I'll show you a little video. It's so cool. You can remove it in a second. It adds minimal weight and thickness. It's got a microfiber cloth that cleans the screen."




10:29AM "It automatically wakes the iPad when you open it, and puts it to sleep when it closes it. Now how is this held on? Do we have screws? No -- we use magnets."















10:28AM It's a flap that covers the front of the device. Interesting.
10:28AM "We designed the case right along side the product. It's not a case -- it's a cover."




10:28AM "We did a case for the original iPad. It worked pretty well, but we went to all the trouble to make this beautiful design, but then covered it up with the case. We thought we could do better than this with the iPad 2."


10:27AM "Something that's going to be even more popular, we call Smart Covers."




10:27AM $39




10:27AM "Here's what it looks like."


10:27AM You can charge while using.


10:26AM Provides output up to 1080p. Works with all apps.


10:26AM "Mirrored video output."


10:26AM "Some other new features. HDMI out. We have a cable that does just that."






10:25AM "26 countries or more on March 25th. And that is iPad 2."




10:25AM "Just a beautiful product... so when are we going to ship it? April, May, June? No. March 11th."





10:25AM "When you add this together with over 65,000 apps... we think 2011 is going to be the year of iPad 2." Big cheers from the crowd.


10:24AM "Now some folks are out there saying they're only a little bit more expensive than us. When you look at this matrix, five of these six are less than $799." Burn Moto.






10:24AM "In addition to preserving the battery life, we've also preserved the price. The same exact prices."


10:23AM "This has been tried and tested... iPads get 10 hours of battery life."


10:23AM "Over a month of standby."




10:23AM "Now here we are adding stuff into the iPad. Cameras, faster CPUs, gyroscope and all this stuff. We've made it way thinner. Something's gotta give. You would think we'd have to give up battery life. But we found a way... the same battery life as the original iPad."








10:22AM "In addition to having both colors, we have models that work with both AT&T and Verizon."










10:22AM Big cheers for that.


10:22AM "It's really thin... and it comes in two colors. And we're shipping white from day one!"




10:21AM "All new design. This is what it looks like."


10:21AM "In addition to thicker (he meant thinner), it's lighter too."

10:21AM "Nothing approaches this."






10:21AM "When you get your hands on one, it feels totally different."


10:21AM 13.4mm to 8.8mm


10:20AM "Having built in all this stuff, one of the striking things about the iPad 2 is that's dramatically thinner. 33% thinner."
10:20AM 'We've also built in the gyroscope we have in the iPhone and iPod touch."






10:20AM "Second, we've built in some cameras for video. We've got a rear and front facing. More on that in a few minutes."


10:19AM "The first iPad was no slouch... so a lot faster."

10:19AM "We go all out on the graphics performance. Up to 9 times faster. Same low power as A4. This will be the first dual core tablet to ship in volume."




10:19AM Boom. Dual core CPU.




10:19AM "What is iPad 2. What have we learned? It is an all new design. It's a completely new design. And it's dramatically faster. We have a new chip we call A5."






10:18AM "But we haven't been resting on our laurels. Today we're going to introduce iPad 2."


10:18AM "We've gotten off to an exceptional first year. We'd like to build on that. What about 2011? Everyone's got a tablet. Will 2011 be the year of the copycat? If we did nothing, maybe a little bit... probably not."
























10:17AM Steve is back.


10:17AM Damn you Apple for making everyone here cry about the iPad.


10:17AM Man this is actually really emotional...




10:16AM iPads are being used to work with Autistic children. This is pretty cool. "We're not curing Autism, but it's helping."

















10:15AM Doctors are using the iPad... and spending more time with patients. Also, the iPad has been performing brain surgery.




10:14AM Chicago schools... using the iPad, seeing huge gains.






10:13AM Yes, Apple.


10:13AM Phil: Some people call this a post-PC device.


10:13AM Gist of the video -- the iPad is magical. Sales were through the roof. Stuff is amazing




10:12AM Phil Schiller: No one predicted this would be as successful as it's been.


10:11AM Hmm... screen just says... Video. Oh there we go.

10:11AM "We made a video about 2010, the year of the iPad..." Video time!
10:11AM "One of the things that's helped us roll this out so fast is our retail stores. They were built for moments like this. We have hundreds of Apple stores now. Without them, we wouldn't have been successful."




10:10AM Ouch -- Honeycomb logo... 100 apps.


10:10AM "There's never been anything like this for photography... 65,000 apps specifically for the iPad."



10:10AM "They're taking advantage of this incredible, magical UI."


10:10AM "Fantastic games, a lot of apps for business and vertical markets. The things people are doing here are amazing."
10:09AM Steve is showing off some of the iPad app selection.




10:09AM "Samsung put one out last year. They said 'our sell-in was quite aggressive, 2m, but our sell out was quite small'." Zing!





10:09AM "Many have said this is the most successful consumer product ever launched. Over 90% market share... our competitors were flummoxed."






10:08AM
 "We sold 15m iPads... that's more than every tablet PC ever sold."


10:08AM "When we said the iPad was magical, people laughed at us. But it's turned out to be magical. And people questioned whether it was an 'unbelievable' price -- well ask our competitors."


10:07AM "We're in a position where most of our revenue comes from these products."




10:07AM "Today we're here to talk about Apple's third post-PC blockbuster product. That's how we think about these things. We started with the iPod, then we added the iPhone, and then the iPad. Every one has been a blockbuster."


10:06AM "Lastly -- we recently shipped our 100 millionth iPhone."






10:06AM "A lot of people have tried to copy this."


10:05AM "Another milestone... let's look at the App Store. We recently paid out over $2b to devs in total. Devs have earned over $2b from selling their apps on the App Store."




10:05AM "Now Amazon doesn't publish their numbers, but it's likely this is the most accounts with credit cards anywhere on the internet."


10:05AM "That's iBooks. As you know, that's one of our three stores. They all use the same Apple ID to access them. Recently, we just crossed 200m accounts."






10:04AM "We have over 2500 publishers in the iBookstore."

10:04AM "Users have downloaded over 100m books in less than a year. Today we're announcing that Random House is bringing over 17k books."


10:03AM "We've got something great to announce today, but first some updates. First iBooks."



10:03AM "We've been working on this product for awhile, and I didn't want to miss it."


10:03AM Standing ovation for Steve Jobs. People are flipping out. He looks good!


10:02AM Whoa! Steve is out!

10:02AM The lights are going down... we're about to begin!
9:59AM "Ladies and gentlemen, our presentation will begin shortly. Please switch devices to silent mode."


9:58AM As you can by the photo, the chair / table setup is here... just like when Steve showed off the first iPad.


9:58AM Did we mention that they're playing a lot of Beatles right now?




9:56AM For those wondering -- no sign of Steve here, but Jony Ive is in the front row.


9:54AM If you're seeing any trouble with comments, don't panic. It looks like Disqus might be experiencing the Apple effect right now.


9:52AM It's all Beatles all the time here.

9:51AM Joz is also in the house, just being Joz.


9:50AM Packed house today -- we can see Tim Cook and Phil Schiller near the stage right now. Expect to see more of them.


9:46AM Okay, we're in our seats and... the Beatles are on the sound system.


09:31AM We're inside and waiting to sit down! All the usual suspects are here -- and we've heard that Pixar's John Lasseter is somewhere in the mix as well.



We will be providing coverage of Apple's special event here using a compilation of sources to make sure that you get an uninterrupted feed.

The event begins March 2nd at 10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST and takes place at the San Francisco Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Apple is widely expected to unveil a new iPad and possibly a revamped MobileMe and iOS 5.

Check back in less than 3 hours!!



We're going to be liveblogging Apple's iPad 2 announcement (and whatever else they have in store). Check back at the times below, and get ready to make history together!

08:00AM - Hawaii
10:00AM - Pacific
11:00AM - Mountain
12:00PM - Central
01:00PM - Eastern
06:00PM - London
07:00PM - Paris
09:00PM - Moscow
11:30PM - Mumbai
03:00AM - Tokyo (March 3rd)
05:00AM - Sydney (March 3rd)