Thursday, March 03, 2011

Apple iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 will be available from 11 March 2011

(Photos: Courtesy  of Apple)

3rd March 2011, Thursday – The 2nd generation of Apple iPad, iPad 2, is officially announced in an Apple Event that was held on 2nd March 2011, Wednesday (10.00am Pacific Standard Time) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Nice to see that Steve Job, Apple CEO (who is on medical leave) presenting the iPad 2.

Important Specs
  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backit glossy Multi-Touch dispaly with IPS teachnology
  • Resolution: 1024-by-768-pixel at 132 pixels per inch
  • 1 GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed, high-performance, low power system-on-a-chip
  • 2 camera capable of photos and video recording: Back camera can capture HD (720p) up to 30 frame per second video recording with audio. Front camera can capture VGA video up to 30 frame per second with audio.
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • Storage option available: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • Version: Wi-Fi only & Wi-Fi + 3G
  • Video Mirroring capability with optional Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter
  • Comes with black or white model.
  • Comes with iOS 4.3 when shipped starting from 11 March 2011.
How much?
According to Apple press release, iPad 2 pricing (‘Suggested Retail Price’) is as follow:

Wi-Fi only: 
USD499 for 16GB model
USD599 for 32GB model,
USD699 for 64GB model

Wi-Fi + 3G: 
USD629 for 16GB model
USD729 for 32GB model
USD829 for 64GB model

Meanwhile, Apple drops the pricing of the first generation iPad (iPad 1). The following is the screen capture of Apple Store Singapore taken today. You can see that iPad 1 costs as low as SGD538 and as high as SGD978.

(The screenshot of Apple Store Singapore taken on 3rd March 2011 shows that Apple reduces the price of Apple iPad 1)

When it is available?
According to Apple press release, iPad 2 will be available in the USA on 11 March 2011, Friday . Then, iPad 2 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on 25 March 2011... and in many more countries around the world in the coming months.

Further international availability (including Brunei. Well... we need to update ourselves about its availability in Singapore or Malaysia. Historically, Brunei is not on the list in their press release) and pricing will be announced at a later date. Therefore, we need to wait some times for the pricing and the availability in Singapore/Brunei market. But I believe the pricing scheme will be the same as the iPad 1 as mentioned by Steve Jobs in the Apple Event for iPad 2.

The official iPad 1 unit for Brunei Darussalam was only available in the end of November 2010. This is a long wait for Bruneian (unless you want to pay more than the official unit price). I hope this will not happen again.

iOS 4.3
Apple also introduced iOS 4.3 in the Apple Event. The latest version of iOS features:

AirPlay enhancement – a wireless technology that lets you stream contents from iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to HDTV via Apple TV (But the bad news is that Apple TV is not available in Brunei Darussalam. It would be nice to have one).

Faster Safari – thanks to the new Nitro JavaScript engine.

iTunes Home Sharing – the capability to play the entire iTunes library from Mac or PC to iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch over a shared Wi-Fi network.

iPad Side Switch – the capability to customize the switch of the iPad to lock the screen rotation or mute the volume.

Personal Hotspot for iPhone 4 – allows internet tethering through Wi-Fi. Previously, internet tethering is only available through USB or Bluetooth connection. With Personal Hotspot, you can share cellular data connection on iPhone 4 with up to five devices at once over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB...hmm and with up to three of these connections using Wi-Fi. (This is that I am waiting for so long. Personal Hotspot similar apps is available for my Nokia E72. By installing JoikuSpot Premium to my Nokia e72, I can share my 3G data via Wi-Fi connection. You can visit for further details about JoikuSpot. Luckily, for the Bruneian, that there is not extra charge for having internet tethering capability. Thanks to DSTCOM and BMobile).

AirPrint – enables printing mail, photos, web pages, and more directly from iOS devices to an AirPrint enabled printer.

Video mirroring (hopefully to all iOS 4.3 devices) – It is for every app, web page, presentation, video, movie, or photo that need to be shown through big screen such as HDTV, projector, or monitor. Just need to buy optional item: Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter. (This is what I am waiting for: the capability of showing what is on the iPad screen to the larger audience. Very useful...especially if I want to use the educational iPad apps or any related apps to teach the class)

iOS 4.3 will be available to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users as a free software update on 11 March 2011, Friday. But iOS 4.3 is only compatible with iPad 1, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM), iPod Touch 3 and iPod Touch 4.

My Comments
a. Black or white?
I will choose black. I prefer a gadget that is  in black colour. White gadget (or blue, yellow, red etc) will attract other people attention towards you. Moreover, the white iPad may look dirty easily.

b. Will I buy iPad 2?
I like to buy iPad 2 due to its faster processor and dual camera. The cameras allow video calling using FaceTime (but too bad no FaceTime through built-in 3G connection. You have to tether your iPad or iPhone 4 to a 3G mobile phone which has Wi-Fi Hotspot in order to use FaceTime on iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Why does it take some times for Apple to enable FaceTime using the built-in 3G connection), Fring, or Skype. Very nice if I bring iPad 2 to oversea to video call my family at home. Video call through Nokia e72 is okay but iPad 2 will be better due to its big screen display.

However, I am already having an iPad now. No iPad 2 for me. May be iPad 3 will be on my wishlist.

c. Will I buy iPad Smart Cover?
I like the iPad Smart Cover. But it is not for me. I prefer to install my iPad with Otterbox Defender Series case (Website: Otterbox Defender Series gives me some of the protection that I need. I think it is the best case for my iPad. Too bad it is not water proof or weather proof.

(The above photos show Otterbox Defender Series for iPad 1. It is expected that Otterbox will release similar product for iPad 2. Courtesy of Otterbox)

d. Will I buy Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter?
I will only buy Apple VGA Adapter as the projector that is available at my workplace is only having VGA connection, no HDMI-equipped projector yet. The capability of video mirroring enables sharing apps and webpage to teach the class. Using netbook is okay. But its does not have the instant-on capability. iPad gives me the instant-on capability... and ‘easy-connect capability’. So, less time to set-up the equipment before using them all.

e. Am I a Apple fan boy?
May be. I like most of the Apple products such as iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and the Mac Mini. I like Mac Book Pro and Mac Book Air, but it is not for me. If I want a device for doing presentation using MS Powerpoint, i choose a netbook which costs less than half the price of the lowest specs MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. 

It seems that iPad will replace my netbook for doing presentation soon (but not so soon). I am still studying which Office apps for iPad that I need to buy.... Hmm I have been using Apple products since 1989 when my secondary English Language teacher invited me and my friends using his Apple computer (at his house) and laser printer to do our Science project report. At that time, an Apple computer and a laser printer costs a lot lot of fortune when compare with the present Apple computer and laser printer.

f. What is missing in the iPad 2 and/or iOS 4.3

1.There is no internet tethering through personal Wi-Fi hotspot, USB, or Bluetooth for iPad 1 and iPad 2 with iOS 4.3. Having an iPad 3G is nice because I do not need to find a Wi-Fi connection to check my e-mail, access and updating Facebook, reading FlipBook etc. But to put a simcard that has an unlimited data plan that costs BND58 or BND60 on the iPad is not that nice if I want to connect my desktop computer to the internet or share the internet connection with the family or friends. 

Therefore, I just put a prepaid broadband simcard in order to quickly check my e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and some news through Safari or the news app. I use DSTCOM Prepaid GO! Broadband for my iPad 3G. It costs 5 cents per mega byte.

2. There is no dial pad or similar facility to check prepaid balance, top-up the credit and doing other USSD service.

Dial *102# to check credit balance
Dial *103*12 digit recharge number#
Dial *105# to transfer credit to other Easi mobile number
Dial *106# to check credit bonus balance
(The above screenshots from an iPhone 4 show some of USSD code for DSTCOM Easi Prepaid plan)

1.  3. It would be nice if iPad have the capability of 3G video, SMS, and voice call just like Samsung Galaxy Tab. 

4. 4. There is no retinal display. It would be very nice to have the retinal display for the iPad.

'Bali tah' (Brunei Malay: Just buy) 
(...if Apple iPad that you want, especially if you do not have the iPad yet or if you want to sell your present iPad and replace with iPad 2 or you simply want iPad 2.)

Further details
For further details for the Apple iPad and other Apple products for Brunei market, you can visit AV Electronics (Apple Premium Reseller in Brunei Darussalam) through their Facebook fan page HERE.

And, just in case, you are looking for a better deal outside Brunei, you can visit Apple Store Singapore or Apple Store Malaysia for the price indicator in those respective country.

p/s : I also like Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1, HTC Flyer (if it is upgraded to Android 3.0), and the tablet from HP. But my money goes to Apple iPad.