LOS ANGELES — The iPad 3, Apple's newest tablet model, will go on sale in the US and six other countries next Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the company's biggest product launch since 2011's voice-enabled iPhone 4S in San Francisco on Wednesday.
"Everyone's been wondering who will come out with a product that's more amazing that the iPad 2," Cook said. "Stop wondering: we are."
Apple's latest version of the iPad will operate on a high-speed 4G network, which it hopes will get more US consumers to pay extra for higher-quality HD video, Reuters reported. The changes are expected to give Verizon Wireless and AT&T a boost in revenue, analysts told Reuters.
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Rumors about the latest iPad have been furiously swirling, with news outlets and tech sites such as Gizmodo rounding up their predictions for the new device.
"We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad," Cook said at the launch event.
The new iPad 3's display will be sharper than the average high-definition television set, the company announced. It will also display more saturated colors than previous models, and is powered by a new chip with four processing cores for smoother graphics, the AP reported.
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The new iPad will be a bit heavier than its predecessor, weighing in at 1.4 pounds, up from 1.33 pounds. It is 9.4 millimeters thick, or 0.37 inches. That compares with 8.8 millimeters, or 0.34 inches, for the iPad 2, according to the AP.
The new iPad remains at the same price point, but the 4G LTE models are priced at $629 for 16 GB, $729 for 32 GB, and $829 for 64 GB, according to Macgasm.
See below for a video on the new iPad announcement today: