Thinner, lighter, faster, better, iPad2 and it’s out this month

The iPad2 is finally out of the bag – or rather it will be to lucky people in the US in 9 days time – and it looks fantastic.
The headline features are; thinner, lighter, more powerful, faster, with more features, an interesting cover, and all for the same price with the same 10 hour battery life.

The spec in full is; total weight 0.2 pounds (15% lighter), it’s 33% thinner, the dual-core A5 chip is twice as fast, the graphics are nine times faster, there are two cameras one on the front and one on the back HD (720p) and there’s a gyro, and accelerometer.

Rumours before the launch said that people should ignore the iPad 2 because the iPad 3 was the one to watch and we don’t agree, the engineering behind this is fantastic, but unfortunately most of it is hidden. ABI Research don’t agree they think the iPad 3 is the one to watch and the iPad 2 won’t be on sale for long.

“With no price changes or evolutionary additions to the original iPad’s capabilities, ABI Research expects it to be phased out quickly,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “Competitively, the addition of video cameras, a dual-core processor, and HDMI video output keeps iPad 2 in the running with other media tablets. Apple’s content ecosystem and integration with other Apple products remains a point of differentiation for the company.”

The iPad 2 will be available for US buyers on March 11, the UK and 26 additional countries will get the iPad2 on March 25, it is going to retail at exactly the same price as the current iPad, and it’ll be available in white at launch.

Apple also said at the launch that they now have 200m accounts worldwide – making it the biggest credit card account holder on the web – its now sold 100m iPhones, worldwide and developers have earned $2bn from selling apps on Apple’s online store.

At the launch a frail-looking Steve Jobs said “We’ve sold 15m iPads in nine months, that’s more than every tablet PC [from Microsoft] ever sold,” adding, “we got over 90% market share. Our competitors were flummoxed.”

Industry reports from Apple suppliers suggest that the company hopes to ship around 40m of the devices this year.

If we’d bought an iPad 2 in the last month we’d be very, very annoyed indeed, because they’re now just so last year.
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