| 10.9°C Dublin

Apple unveils latest iPad in first launch since Jobs's death

THE wildest rumours speculated on a machine with a screen that would let you "sense" the feel of material such as silk or sandpaper.

But when Apple unveiled the latest iPad at simultaneous events in London and San Francisco last night, the reality was a little more disappointing.

However, it's unlikely to stop the public from queuing up to buy the tablet when it hits the shelves in Ireland on March 23.

Pricing for the iPad remains the same when the new range goes on sale, starting at €500.

New CEO Tim Cook, hosting his first Apple launch since Steve Jobs' death in October, revealed a new edition of the machine that closely resembled the old one, which sold more than 15 million units in the last three months of 2011.

Instead of the expected name of iPad 3, Apple calls it just the "new iPad", hailing its greatly improved screen quality, faster speeds and more powerful camera.

Other features of note include quicker download speeds on mobile networks, voice dictation and the same 10-hour battery life despite the extra horsepower.

But the Californian giant can afford to take small steps to stay ahead of its competition, commanding more than 70pc of the market in a category it practically invented.

Last week, the company announced more than 25 billion apps for iPhone and iPad had been downloaded.

The 90-minute launch couldn't match the star quality of a Steve Jobs event, but his ghost was clearly in evidence, with Mr Cook and his team tripping out familiar Jobsian hyperbole such as "gorgeous", "incredible" and "beautiful".

Irish Independent