I think we were all taken by surprise at Apple’s event today, when Phil Schiller announced an update to Apple’s full-sized iPad. The new fourth generation iPad with Retina display will be replacing the third generation iPad, which was just released in March of 2012.
The new fourth generation iPad is, as Phil Schiller says, “a powerhouse.” Though it looks the same, the new tablet comes with an A6X chip which is twice as fast as the chip that’s in the previous iPad, and it has a much improved camera.
New LTE functionality will allow users in other countries to get 4G access for the first time, as it is compatible with several carriers around the world. In the U.S., Sprint will be getting the iPad for the first time.
According to Schiller, the new fourth generation iPad will perform tasks at twice the speed, and gaming will be much faster as well thanks to the new chip, which offers twice the CPU performance and twice the graphics performance.
The 10-hour battery life remains the same, but the dock connector has changed. Like the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, the fourth generation iPad uses the new Lightning connector. We’re also promised faster Wi-Fi connection speeds, and Apple introduced new cables: Lightning to USB and Lightning to SD card reader.
It has the same configurations as the previous generation, coming in both black and white and 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities. The pricing remains the same, starting at $499 for a 16GB tablet with Wi-Fi capabilities.
Pre-orders for the new fourth generation iPad will begin on Friday, October 26. The Wi-Fi version of the tablet will begin shipping on November 2, with the LTE version to follow shortly after.