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TechWeekEurope Live Blog: Apple’s iPad Launch

Eric is a veteran British tech journalist, currently editing ChannelBiz for NetMediaEurope. With expertise in security, the channel, and Britain's startup culture, through his TechBritannia initiative

The much-anticipated launch happened March 7. We were there to see the news as it happened

19:30 Guess that’s all for now – hope you’re enlightened. Watch TechWeekEurope for further updates as they become available

19:29 Presumably the old iPads will become unusable as the apps are gradually upgraded for the new resolution. Will be interesting to see the eBay prices.

19:28 Apple Stores are all down for worldwide for updating. Worldwide availability will no doubt be announced when the store is relaunched

19:26 Apple Store calls it “resolutionary”  – barf.

19:25 “Across the year we are going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation” – Tim Cook

19:23: Show’s over folks. So it is the “iPad with no number”. If it’s called the New iPad presumably the iPad 2 will be renamed the Old iPad

19:22 Tim Cook doing a bit of back-patting – but still no name

19:21 Airing of “The New iPad” commercial

19:21 (How will we tell the difference)

19:20 Cheap iPad 2s Price dropped by $100 – £399 for 16GB Wi-Fi

19:19 Nothing unexpected. Nothing other than bigger and better

19:17 So same memory sizes, quad core processor, retina screen, bigger battery to give same-ish battery life

19:16 Video showing sub pixel minimising of dot pitch

19:15 Still no name but a reference to “third-generation iPad”

19:14 No new connector – still standard iPod socket and no expansion memory port

19:13 iLife $4.99 available today

19:12 Geo tags and date used to work out what the weather was – hmm

19:11 (presume the 64GB is being used for this demo)

19:10 (how much memory does all this use up?)

19:09 Standard image correction tools like red-eye correction, sharpen, soften – plus a general repair tool (auto enhance)

19:08 Touch and edit to allow lightening or darkening of image

19:07 Simple cropping with single tap Undo

19:05 Showing image manipulation using a 12 Mpixel image – one tap to re-align crooked horizons

19:05 Up to 19Mpixel images can be used

19:04 double tap a photo to find similar images stored on iPad

19:03 Improved editing features for photos

19:01 New ways to browse – new gestures for photo editing – beam photos from one device to another – Photo Beaming

19:00 iLife  – iPhoto for iPad gives new browsing “experience”

18:59 $4.99 with free upgrades

18:58 Passing on to iMovie

18:57 Smart Strings on Garage Band – a new note editor with sharing through iCloud

18:56 iPad jam session with four iPads

18:55 iPad apps have been updated at the same price – with free upgrades

18:54 No release date for Infinity Blade

18:53 Still no name given for this thing

18:52 More memory on screen resolution than Xbox or PS3

18:49 Mike Capps from Epic Games up next to show Infinity Blade: Dungeons

18:49 Available in April – so iPad must be coming soon

18:49 Resolution has to be seen to be believed

18:47 SketchBook Pro from Autodesk

18:46 Autodesk with 3D architecture and design graphics in 3D (2D) movement

18:45 James Shelton from Namco calls it “console quality”

18:44 Eject – just shake the iPad

18:43 Combat flight demo

18:42 But developers have been working with the new resolution – Namco with Sky Gamblers

18:41 Current apps will be upscaled for new resolution

18:41 LTE versions around $30 more

18:39 Slightly heavier iPad will sell for $599 32GB; $699 for 64GB – sorry no 128GB

18:38 iPad two had 10 hrs battery life – 9hrs on LTE

18:37 Personal hotspot capability – device has more wavebands supported than anything that has gone before

18:36 Separate devices depending on waveband

18:35 Fast loading of video on LTE

18:34 Comparison of LTE and HSPA

18:34 Slightly thicker than iPad 2

18:33 (not for UK use till spectrum is sorted)

18:33 4G LTE support

18:32 A microphone for voice dictation

18:31 Software image stabilisation

18:30 iSight camera by name

18:30 recording at 1080p

18: 29 Only 5Mpixel camera on the back – auto exposure, auto focus

18:28 Four times as fast as Tegra 3 and 44 percent greater saturation on display

18:26 Quad core graphics from A5X chip

18:25 At 15 inches away it still crosses the retina threshold – no pixels evident

18:24 2048×1536 resolution – better than 1920x 1080 HD display

18:24 iPad now has a resolution greater than the screen behind me

18.23 iPad “whatever” looks like iPad 2 – no surprise there

18:22 Phil Schiller preparing to demo

18:22 We will

18:22 Who will come out with something more amazing than iPad 2

18:21 Showing Twitter on Samsung Galaxy Tab – tiny text

18:19 200,000+ custom apps

18:18 Users say it’s the best device for email – and e-reading and gaming

18:17 Concept: Best device for doing things you do most often

18:16 15.4 million iPads sold last quarter

18:15 Time for the iPad – poster child of the post-PC world

18:14 Film recommendations based on what you ordered last

18:13 Pictures from iPhone will appear immediately on Apple TV

18:12 TV shows the day after they air from iCloud playlist

18:11 New Apple TV with new UI as Eddy Cue takes the stage to demo its capabilities

18:10 Clue? 1080p HD films supported on iTunes

18:09  Running through the apps and iCloud figures 100 million iCloud users and 25 billion apps

18:08 iOS 5.1 announced

18:07 Siri being shown with examples of different languages

18:06 Post PC success 62 Million devices sold in Q4 2011

18:05 Video ends

18:04 Video tour being shown

18:03 Apple stores make $7000 per square foot

18:02 Apple App Store is quiet

18:01 Apple has its feet firmly place in post-PC future

18:00 172m post-PC devices sold last year

18:00 Listing Apple’s post-PC devices: iPod, iPhone and iPad

18:00 Tim Cook is welcoming everyone

17:58 Well, there are iPads on the stage in San Francisco but the stage is all purple and dark

 

The rumours are out there. Will we see an iPad 3 or iPad HD? Will there be a cheaper iPad 2? What technology lies under the covers? Will Apple stun the world with its new tablet?

Whatever the news is, it will be live here at TechWeekEurope from 6pm GMT this evening, though Apple has a habit of starting these events later than advertised. We’ll be live blogging away to bring the news as it happens. Just keep checking and refreshing this page to see the latest on this year’s biggest launch event.

The grist of the rumour mill

Rumours have been flying around for months about the nature of the latest iPad but, before we look at them, a warning. When the iPhone 4S was announced, the pre-launch rumour was that we’d see an iPhone 5 – and we’re still waiting.

It is possible that Apple will again make monkeys of us all and all we will witness is an iPad 2 upgrade. A higher resolution model with a few tweaks to the rear-facing camera, and maybe better memory options. Word was out that the iPad 3 launch would be accompanied by a cheaper iPad 2, so just maybe…

It seems almost certain that whatever is launched will have a Retina screen of around 9.7-inch diagonal measurement and 2048x 1536 pixels. This would allow the likely inclusion of High Definition video, which explains the rumoured iPad HD name. It is possible that the rear-facing camera would be upgraded to at least a minimum eight megapixel resolution to support this. There is the wisp of a rumour that 3D playback of downloads could also be supported.

The other strong rumour is that the power will be ramped up with a quad-core processor to drive better multitasking and faster app execution. What effect all of this would have on battery life remains to be seen (giving rise to speculation of a bigger battery).

Maybe we will see an improvement for the memory. With so many apps hogging increasing amounts of memory, even 64GB is looking a little stingy – though iCloud can help a little, it barely scratches the silicon. Will we see a 128GB model, one with USB or maybe an Intel Thunderbolt interface? The latter options seem unlikely as the cases seen so far (claimed to be for the iPad 3) don’t appear to have any extra holes for new ports.

So basically bigger and better seems to be the pundits best guess – no prizes for that.

What about pricing? The word is that the new models will cost more than the equivalent iPad 2s but the activity on eBay shows that current iPad 2 owners are not so sure – judging by the markdowns. Certainly a 128GB iPad would top the £700 mark but Apple does have a habit of surprising its fans.

How much do you know about the iPad? Take our quiz!