Apple introduced a lighter and more powerful iPad 2 today, and revealed plans to release the successor to its popular tablet device on March 11 at a starting price of $499.99.
Along with adding rear- and front-facing video cameras, the iPad 2 features a new dual-core A5 processor (Apple says it will be the first dual core tablet to ship in volume) with a graphics performance that the company claims is up to nine times faster than the original iPad.
The new tablet will also be 33 percent thinner (8.8 mm), and .2 pounds lighter (1.3 lbs) than the previous iPad despite adding HDMI output via a proprietary cable, a gyroscope -- a boon for developers creating motion-based games and apps -- and having the same estimated 10 hour battery life.
Apple revealed that the iPad 2 will sell for the same price as its predecessor, offering 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB WiFi-only options for $499, $599, and $699 resepecively. WiFi and 3G models are priced at $629 (16GGB), $729 (32GB), and $829 (64GB).
The iPad 2, which has two different models, black and white, will debut in the U.S. on March 11 and ship to 26 or more countries by March 25. Apple has partnered with both AT&T and Verizon for the device's 3G-enabled models.
Apple revealed a few new figures for the iPad so far, including sales of around 15 million units between April and December 2010, which the company says is more than any tablet PC ever sold.
The company also disclosed that it has shipped over 100 million iPhones, registered 200 million App Store/iTunes/iBooks accounts, and paid out $2 billion to game and app developers on its platform.
A more in-depth Gamasutra write-up from our onsite reporter is coming in the near future.
[Image via Engadget