Apple's 3rd Generation iPad. Image Courtesy of Apple.

Apple's 3rd Generation iPad. Image Courtesy of Apple.

San Francisco (Scicasts) - Apple is launching its third generation iPad, featuring a new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing high quality photos and 1080p HD video.

“The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “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.”

According to Apple, the new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a "normal" distance, making web pages, text, images and video look very sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased colour saturation the new iPad displays colors that are richer, deeper and more vivid. Movie files are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution.

The powerful new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the Retina display. The company said that with double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a great balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch interface, immersive gameplay, incredible visual depth and all-day battery life.

The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking advanced quality pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows users to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and shared with friends and colleagues using the built-in Photos app on iPad.

iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally, according to the press report. The "world-ready" iPad delivers fast download and upload speeds so web pages load very quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on an iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

With Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 5.1, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works with iCloud, Apple's set of free cloud services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content and push it to connected devices. When content changes on one of the devices, the other connected devices are updated automatically.

The new iPad also supports dictation. Instead of typing, a user can tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, speak the words to the iPad, then the iPad converts the spoken words into text. Users can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and other functions. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so users can update their Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.

Apple also introduced the iPhoto app, along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes Multi-Touch features so users can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find their best shots, enhance and retouch their images using fingertip brushes and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives users the ability to create, what the company claims as, amazing "Hollywood-style" trailers as they record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.

Pricing & Availability

The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model and $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G for either AT&T or Verizon 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 will be sold in the US through the Apple Store (, Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPad will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands on Friday, March 16. Users can begin pre-ordering their new iPad immediately, and the older iPad 2 is now offered at a more affordable price of $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model. iOS 5.1 and iTunes 10.6 are now available as free software updates. By the end of March, Apple said that the iPad will be available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

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