New iPad announced – LTE, Retina Display, 5MP camera, March 16 release

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CEO Tim Cook has announced today there will be a brand new iPad at its press conference today. The new product will have the long awaited 264ppi Retina Display and 4G LTE support – so pretty much, the big things everyone wanted.

It’s actually called ‘the new iPad’. No fancy names, no numbers and no HD suffix. It’s just called ‘the new iPad’. Let’s call it the iPad 3.

In addition, the new version will include a new A5X processor that is meant to handle the Retina Display, and will support quad-core graphics. The tablet will also feature a 5-megapixel rear camera and will have the same features as what you see on the iPhone 4S; and voice dictation – just no confirmation on Siri.

LTE will give the iPad 3 a theoretical download speed of 73Mbps, meaning it’s really really fast. No word on whether Australians will support the 4G feature on Telstra or Optus (after their buyout of Vividwireless), but everyone will be keeping an eye on it despite not being listed as a partner. In North America, there will be two versions – one to support the LTE implementation on AT&T and the other with Verizon.

The iPad 3 is still 3G capable, and will support DC-HSDPA and HSPA+ – all faster than typical 3G speeds. This will mean that a worldwide audience is not left out of this announcement. It will also have 10 hours of battery life – in comparsion, the LTE version will have 9 hours.

It will come out on March 16 – so, next Friday (quick turnaround time) – in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia; with more on March 23. Pricing points will be the same – with US$499 for 16GB, US$599 for 32GB and US$699 for 64GB with Wi-Fi only; and a bit more for 3G or 4G support.

In Australia – the pricing plans are: $539 for 16GB, $649 for 32GB and $759 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi+4G model will cost $679 for 16GB, $789 for 32GB and $899 for 64GB.

Pre-orders are being accepted today – if you can get to the site.

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