Apple has revealed the third generation of its iPad as it strains to keep the lead in tablet computers. CEO Tim Cook presented the new device and a high-definition version of its TV box set on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Apple chief Cook said the new iPad had a screen resolution greater than that of high-definition television and better than any mobile device so far. It also has a faster processor, a sharper 5 megapixel camera that can record high-definition video, and it will be able to access faster 4G mobile networks.
"We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad," Cook said at a press conference.
The Apple boss predicted that the era of personal computers was coming to an end. He said the future would see users storing their data remotely and accessing it with mobile devices that had little storage space themselves.
The updated version of the AppleTV box, which streams films, television and other content from the Internet to TV sets, has the ability to show video in HD resolution. Cook said it was immediately available to purchase.
The new iPad can also be pre-ordered immediately in Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States and will be available on March 16, Cook said. Prices will remain unchanged. The cheapest model currently costs 479 euros in Germany and $499 in the United States.
Apple introduced its first tablet computer in 2010 and has since sold 55 million of them. It is anxious to defend its leading position in the tablet computer market as it faces aggressive competition from tablets powered by Google's Android operating system. A Microsoft software-driven device, which is to be released soon, is also expected to present a challenge.
"Everyone's been wondering who will come out with a product that's more amazing that the iPad 2," Cook said. "Stop wondering: We are."
ncy/rc (AP, dpa, AFP, Reuters)