Apple has revealed the newest model for its popular line of iPad tablet computers, with a new high-resolution Retina display, as well as other features benefitting games on the platform.
At a presentation held across from the Game Developers Conference on Wednesday morning, Worldwide Marketing SVP Phil Schiller said the device will have a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 screen (iPad 2's display was 1024×768).
The screen is similar to the Retina display introduced with the iPhone 4, allowing for sharper details and more vibrant graphics -- it offers 44 percent greater color saturation compared to the iPad 2.
Along with its new screen, the iPad also has a new A5X quad-core graphics chip, and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It's expected to have the same battery life as the previous iPad model, around 10 hours (9 hours with 4G LTE turned on).
Schiller bragged that the device has "more memory and [a] higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3."
Weighing in at 1.4 lbs (slightly heavier than the iPad 2), the new iPad will be available in black and white with a 16GB WiFi-only model for $499, a 32GB model for $599, and a 64GB for $699 -- prices for the 4G-enabled editions will range from $629-$899.
Apple has opened up preorders for the tablet, and will begin selling them on March 14. It has also lowered the starting price for the WiFi-only version of the iPad 2 to $399, and for the WiFi and 3G version of the iPad 2 to $529.
This reveal follows days after the company announced that iOS users have downloaded more than 25 billion games
and applications from the App Store since the platform's launch three years ago. Apple has so far paid over $4 billion to developers, who have put up some 585,000 apps on the shop.
Apple CEO Cook described its iOS family as the leader of the "post-PC revolution," a recent movement made up of devices designed to be more personal and portable than PCs. He noted that Apple sold 176 million post-PC, iOS-based devices last year (62 million in the last quarter), and that they made up 76 percent of the company's revenues.
He called the iPad the "poster child" of the post-PC revolution, and said the tablet line sold 15.4 million units last quarter (ending December) alone. "We sold more iPads in the last quarter of last year, than any PC maker sold of their PCs," said Cook, according to
The Verge's live blog of the presentation.
[Image courtesy of GDGT]