Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers. Following the introduction is an edited transcript of the event. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out our summary of what got announced.
Apple will be holding a press event in San Francisco today to unveil a mysterious product--what many believe will turn out be the next version of the iPad, the company's tablet computer that made its debut a little more than a year ago.
Earlier this month, Apple sent invites to news outlets with an image of a calendar page that's peeling back to reveal the corner of what appears to be an iPad. And during Apple's annual shareholders meeting last week, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook sidestepped a shareholder question about plans for a follow-up to the device by saying the invite "might give you some clues."
CNET will be on the scene at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to bring you the news as it happens. You'll be able to follow along here using the Cover it Live module below. We'll also be running a special episode of Buzz Out Loud. You can watch that in the video player below the live blog.
The event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
Transcript of live blog starts here:
9:40 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Welcome, folks. I'll be your moderator for this CNET live event today.
9:41 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): As a reminder, I and my colleagues will see your comments but this is a moderated chat, so not all of them may appear.
9:42 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): My esteemed CNET colleague Josh Lowensohn will be reporting from the event today (I talked to him about an hour ago and he was heading over then). James Martin will be contributing photographs. Donald Bell will be adding perspective as well.
9:43 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): James sent over some photos of the scene at the event that I'm adding now.
9:44 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): We're in! Hey everyone.
9:45 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Great! Glad to know you made it, Donald.
9:45 a.m. PT (from reader Caleb): Is there a live video feed of the event?
9:40 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Josh here too. We're in the middle of what appears to be a long Beatles playlist. Thanks for joining us everyone.
9:47 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): @Caleb: I'm not aware of any live feed. Josh, do you know of any?
9:47 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): People are shuffling into the theater. Because of the rain they had us all crowded into the lobby before getting us seated. Tragically, I could not access the coffee and pastry table. :^(
9:48 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Spotted in the front row is Apple COO Tim Cook, SVP of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller, SVP of Mac hardware engineering Bob Mansfield, and senior VP of industrial design Jonathan Ive.
9:48 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): By way of background (and, yes, Donald, we all feel for you), Josh is too modest to mention it, but he has a good preview of "four things to expect" up on CNET.
9:49 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): We've also got an armchair and a table up on stage, which is the same setup Apple had here last time to demo the first iPad.
9:53 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): I should note that Apple's online store is offline at the moment (it would be a surprise if it were not).
9:54 a.m. PT (from reader James Hollis): Josh, what are your thoughts about availability of new iPad if that is indeed the announcement?
9:54 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): To answer the belated question about a live stream, Apple is not offering a stream of the event, and as usual, media isn't allowed to do a live stream of the proceedings.
9:56 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): @James, I can't answer the question about a new iPad until it's announced :) I can tell you there are a number of areas Apple can improve the first generation device, and I'm betting whatever we see today will address some of the main pain points for most folks.
The real interesting rumor that had been kicking around was whether it will include Intel's recently announced Thunderbolt technology, which could make big data syncs super fast.
9:54 a.m. PT (from reader Danny): Declan...would that point toward immediate availability?
9:56 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): @Danny: It indicates the ability to preorder, I'd imagine, and perhaps immediate availability as well. But this is just speculation.
9:57 a.m. PT (Scott Stein): Hey everyone. I imagine there will be some MobileMe-related announcement today... that's my guess. Could make the iPad an even more appealing platform to add better cloud support.
9:57 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Scott is, I should add, a CNET senior associate editor in NYC. Thanks for joining us, Scott!
9:58 a.m. PT (Scott Stein): Thunderbolt...considering it's on MacBook Pros now (and more to come, for sure), seems like it would make sense in some capacity. 30 pin-to-Thunderbolt? Thanks, Declan!
9:54 a.m. PT (from reader Kevin): Are you guys Blogging from an iPad?..just asking :)
9:58 a.m. PT (Scott Stein): :) not me. though I've done such a thing before.
9:59 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): @kevin, we are not blogging from an iPad, but I've had to do that before. Cover it Live, which we use to bring this to you, has a pretty snappy iPhone app.
9:59 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Literally, the only thing on stage is a chair and a side table.
10:00 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): A reminder, folks. Your comments are moderated and we may not be able to approve all of them. Our apologies in advance if this happens!
10:01 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Especially because we're getting about 5-10 a second :)
10:01 a.m. PT (Scott Stein): I'm also curious about gaming-related announcements, considering the proximity to GDC...
10:01 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Just got a tip from the Buzz Out Loud crew that RobRed in their chat room claims to have seen an engineering sample of the iPad 2 first-hand that included a Thunderbolt port. Take that with a grain of salt, but he's tipped us off reliably before.
10:02 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): OK folks, here we go.
10:02 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Stepping on stage is Steve Jobs...
10:03 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Who is getting a standing ovation from the room. "Good morning," Jobs says.
10:03 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs says, "We've been working on this product for a while, and I didn't want to miss today."
10:04 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs first talking about iBooks, which launched less than a year ago today. Jobs says users have downloaded more than 100m books in a year.
10:04 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Yay, people still read!
10:04 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs also says Random House is bringing 17,000 books to the iBooks store this morning. That makes 2,500 publishers distributing through the iBooks store, Jobs says.
10:05 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs now giving a breakdown of the various stores--iTunes, App Store, and iBooks. All of them use the same account. Jobs says 200 million accounts are now in Apple's system, and that it's likely the most accounts on any online store.
10:06 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now on the App Store, Jobs says we've paid out more than $2 billion to developers, cumulatively and total. "A lot of people try to copy us, and I think we're way ahead," Jobs says.
10:06 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs says 100 million iPhones have been sold too, to another round of applause.
10:07 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs says we're here to hear about Apple's other device. Now going through a rundown of past products, like the original iPod in 2001, iPhone in 2007, and iPad in 2010. "Every one of these has been a blockbuster," Jobs says.
10:07 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs saying that people were laughing at the company for using the word "magical" but it turned out to be true. The same thing went for the price, Jobs says, making a crack at competing tablet prices.
10:09 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs says that Apple has sold 15 million iPads in 2010 (from April-December), accounting for $9.5 billion in revenue.
"More than every Tablet PC ever sold," Jobs says.
10:09 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Oh, they're claiming over 90% market share now for the iPad.
10:10 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs now knocking Samsung, saying a lot of the company's tablets stayed on shelves.
Jobs also giving an update on iPad development, saying that there are 65,000 apps that work with the iPad natively (meaning they're not blown-up iPhone apps)
10:11 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now comparing tablet app lineup to competitors like Google, which Jobs says is closer to 100 apps.
10:12 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Time for a heartwarming video about the iPad. Where is my coffee?
10:12 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now talking about retail stores, saying "without these stores, I don't think we would have been successul either."
And we get to see a video about Apple retail stores, but there was a hiccup at the beginning that kept it from playing on the screen.
10:13 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Lots of happy customers unwrapping iPads in retail stores, with Apple execs talking about how people have to go see it in person to get it.
10:14 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Video now talking up other uses for the iPad, like education and in hospitals.
10:15 a.m. PT (Scott Stein): Airlines.
10:16 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): And a cameo by Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com, talking about how it's going to change the way business is done.
10:17 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now we're seeing how the iPad is helping a child with autism. "This is something my son can do. He doesn't need me. I don't want to have him need me all the time," the mother in the video says.
10:18 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Not the most humble video ever made.
10:18 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs back on stage now, saying 2010 was the year of the iPad. So what about 2011 Apple asks? "Everybody's got a tablet." Now flashing Google, Samsung, HP, BlackBerry and Motorola logos. Jobs says most of those aren't even catching up with the first.
Jobs announces iPad 2!
10:18 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): It's officially called "iPad 2"
10:19 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): And the Apple store is still down...
10:19 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): What is iPad 2? Jobs asks. It's an all new design, Jobs says. It's not been tweaked, he says.
"Dramatically faster," Jobs says. That comes in the form of an A5 processor. Dual-core processors.
10:19 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): "Up to twice as fast on CPU performance," Jobs says. But the real speed is in graphics, which are 9 times faster, while using the same power as the processor from the first iPad.
10:20 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Also coming: Video cameras. Both a rear camera, and a front-facing camera.
10:20 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): As well as a gyroscope.
10:20 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): All this, and it's "dramatically thinner," Jobs says. How much? 33 percent thinner.
10:21 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Gone from 13.4mm to 8.8mm in thickness. Jobs says iPad 2 is actually thinner than iPhone 4.
10:21 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Damn, that's thin. That should send competitors back to the drawing board.
10:21 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Getting first look at it now. There's almost no metal part in the bezel around the screen.
Jobs also says it's lighter, from 1.5 lbs down to 1.3 lbs.
10:21 a.m. PT (Scott Stein): Gaming's going to radically transform if graphics are up to 9x faster.
10:22 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): And it comes in two colors. White is shipping from day 1 Jobs says.
10:22 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): No extra ports from the looks of things.
Models work with both AT&T and Verizon, Jobs says.
10:23 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): He's emphasizing "all new design" but it really doesn't look that different.
10:23 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs now saying that the iPad 2 will feature the same "legendary" 10-hour battery life of the existing iPad. That includes a month of standby.
10:24 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): "We're really happy to keep that, and never let it go," Jobs says.
The same exact pricing structure will be used as well. So no price drop, folks.
10:25 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): "We only have one model that's more expensive than $799," Jobs says, addressing competitor tablet prices.
10:25 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): 10 hours is still the high bar for the competition. Hard to match, especially without cramming a giant battery inside.
10:25 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Shipping March 11.
10:25 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): That's in the U.S. Shipping in 26 more countries on March 25.
10:26 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Whew, I have a week and a half to prepare. Taking my anxiety level down a few notches.
10:27 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): That's it for the iPad 2, Jobs says. What could be next? "Really cool accessories," Jobs says.
First one is HDMI video out. Jobs says this was a big request from teachers. Gives you mirrored video output, so you can see everything on the screen, not just display out from specific apps.
Runs 1080p. Works with all apps, Jobs says.
10:27 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Also includes a spare port for you to run power through the iPad.
10:27 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Will be $39.
10:27 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Ouch, that's taking a big selling point away from competitors.
10:28 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): The other accessory is something called "Smart Covers." Jobs talking about how the original case was neat, but Apple went through all this effort to design the iPad, then covered it up and made accessories hard to access.
The answer is Smart Cover, which is a bendable flap that sticks onto the side of the device.
10:29 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Look out, case manufacturers. Apple is about to eat your lunch.
10:29 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Wakes up the iPad from sleep when you open it, and puts it to sleep when you close it, Jobs says.
The cover uses magnets to grasp onto the unit, and align it. "You can add it in a second. You can remove it in a second," Jobs says.
10:30 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): "You can have a bunch of them, and pick which one you feel like today and easily put it on," Jobs says. Now we're seeing a video of how this accessory works.
10:31 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Best case commercial EVER! Seriously.
10:31 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Pretty impressive stuff here, the case just snaps on. Jobs jokes that the ad is similar to a Pixar short.
10:31 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Comes in 5 colors for the polyurethane case, and 5 for the leather. Poly is $39, and leather is $69.
10:32 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now we're reading about iOS 4.3. On stage is Scott Forstall, SVP of iOS Software.
10:33 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): New:
iTunes home sharing
10:34 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Home sharing is the tech that lets you see other iTunes libraries from your PC or Mac on your iOS device by the way.
10:35 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): The improvements to AirPlay now include photo slideshows, and video and audio from apps to other devices.
10:35 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Also, the software preference to use the switch on the right of the iPad to go between volume mute, or a screen orientation lock. This was a popular request, Forstall says.
10:36 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): And finally is the personal Wi-Fi hot spot, which is coming to the iPhone 4. This is the same one Verizon iPhone users have had since that release.
10:37 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Also coming in iOS 4.3 is Photo Booth, Apple's photo-taking application that's been on Mac OS X since the introduction of iSight cameras. The software gives you nine live video streams with various effects.
10:38 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Forstall is giving us a demo of the software running on an iPad 2 running the various filters and taking photos with the iPad 2's front-facing cameras.
The app is making use of the touch screen to let users adjust some of the effects by touching the screen.
10:39 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Also coming to the iPad 2 (as expected) is FaceTime, Apple's video chat service. This works between two iPads, between an iPad and an iPod Touch, and between an iPad and a Mac, Forstall says. Now we're getting a demo of that going from the iPad.
10:39 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): "The size of the iPad is just ideal for video conferencing," Forstall says.
Similar to on other iOS devices, the FaceTime app can swap between the front or back cameras.
10:41 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): That's it on iOS 4.3, which is hitting iOS users on March 11. Supports iPad, iPhone (GSM) and iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generation)
10:41 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs back up on stage now, introducing two new iOS applications. "We like to do applications," Jobs says.
10:42 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): The first is iMovie for iPad.
10:43 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Features:
multitrack audio recording
AirPlay to Apple TV
Share your videos in HD
On stage to demo it is Randy Ubillos who is Apple's Chief Architect of Video Applications.
10:45 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Ubillos giving us a look at the iPad version of the app. Users can browse through their projects like movie posters outside a cinema.
Looks across between iMovie on the Mac and the iPhone app. Same timeline scrubbing and clipping. The whole app uses gestures, so you can tap on parts of clips to add them to the timeline, as well as use things like the pinch to adjust things.
10:46 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): One big request had been audio, Ubillos says. So iMovie has an audio editor where you adjust audio waveforms. Also included are 50 sound effects users can throw in their creations.
10:47 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Each video can have up to three audio tracks, in addition to a voiceover track you can record on the iPad's microphone.
10:49 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now we're getting a look at themes, and adjusting text and video headers. Sharing options go out to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, CNN iReport with little logos for each service. There's also an option to send it to your iTunes library.
10:50 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs back up now, giving a quick wrap up of iMovie, while saying it will be available March 11 for $4.99.
Also coming to the iPad: GarageBand.
10:50 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Apple's stock is up about 1 percent, BTW. The timing coincides with this event.
10:51 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Features:
Guitar amps and effects
8 track recording and mixing
More than 250 loops
Email AAC file of your song
Compatible with Mac version.
Up for a demo is Xander Soren, director of music marketing for Apple.
10:51 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): GarageBand's arrival will probably spell doom for IK Multimedia's excellent AmpliTube app.
10:52 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Soren flipping through instruments, similar to going through albums with coverflow. First up is a demo of playing the piano.
10:52 a.m. PT (from reader Geremy): iPad 2 page is up on Apple.com
10:53 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Yep, it is. http://www.apple.com/ipad/
10:53 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Soren says the app makes use of note dynamics, so that the iPad can tell how hard you're hitting the screen to affect the power of the note. This is handled via accelerometer, Soren says.
10:53 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): The store's still down, but the iPad page on Apple.com is up.
10:54 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Soren just switched up the piano to a "classic rock organ" while noting that the entire identity of instruments changes visually.
10:55 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Tech specs: 9.5" high, 7.3" wide, 0.34" deep, 1.33 lbs in weight. Storage capacity for both WiFi and WiFi+3G models: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB.
10:56 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): Available on AT&T and Verizon (WiFi+3G). Display is 1024x768, 9.7". Rear camera is 720P, front camera is "VGA-quality" for video and still.
10:55 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now we're getting a demo of drums. Drum kit looks just like a real drum kit. This too uses the accelerometer, Soren says.
10:56 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Soren jokes that another great feature is that your kids can play the drums, but with the headphones on.
10:57 a.m. PT (from reader Michael): Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera Tap to control exposure for video or stills Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi
10:57 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Also included are "smart instruments," which is Apple's solution to help people who don't know how to play, a way to do it.
10:58 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): For the guitar that means the chords have been moved from the frets to the strumming area, so you can just move your finger to stay in a note. Another option is an auto play mode where it will play a chord progression, and you can pick which chord you want. Soren referred to them as "training wheels."
10:59 a.m. PT (from reader Dan): Same capacity. How dumb! Agh! That would have been the clintcher for me!!!!
10:59 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): @Dan: That's according to the iPad spec page. It is a shame. http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/
10:59 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Similar to its desktop counterpart, the GarageBand iPad app can also record whatever you're doing and let you combine them together.
11:00 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): The UI here looks a lot like the desktop version of GarageBand, where you can see each track and its notes. The system works with 8 tracks, Soren says.
11:02 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): We've already seen that the iPad can support MIDI input with accessories, for those who want more advanced composition control. Hopefully GarageBand for iPad will support this too. If not, it could be one angle left for developers.
11:02 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Garageband wrapping up now. Jobs back out.
11:03 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): "Anyone can make music now, on something that's this thick and weighs 1.3 pounds. It's unbelievable," Jobs says. "This is no toy. This is something you can use for real work."
11:03 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): GarageBand will be $4.99 Jobs says. Will be on the app store March 11.
11:05 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Jobs now giving us a quick rundown of iPad 2 features once again, as well as color options and accessories. Jobs says, "We think 2011 is going to be the year of iPad 2."
11:05 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Now we're getting a video about the iPad 2, with more talk of it being a "post-PC" device.
11:07 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Ive on the video saying that by removing the side walls of the iPad, it makes it more comfortable to hold.
11:09 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Video still going here, just doing some more footage of the new apps, FaceTime, and AirPlay.
11:11 a.m. PT (from reader Craig): Is there a wifi only version?
11:11 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): @Craig. Yes. See: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/
11:13 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Video done now, once again we see the "2011: Year of the iPad 2" message up.
Now Jobs back out in front of a sign that says "technology" and "liberal arts."
Jobs says, "It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with liberal arts, humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing. And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and looking at this as the next PC."
Talking about how competitors are going after things like specs like they did with the PC, but they're missing the point.
Jobs now having everyone who worked on the iPad 2 stand up and get applause. Jobs also thanking everyone's families for making it possible to "work our tails off."
11:14 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): The above image is from me, not James--showing FaceTime video calling.
11:14 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): And that's it. We're getting a hands-on with the device shortly. Thanks for tuning in!
11:15 a.m. PT (Donald Bell): Looks like we're done. Thanks everyone. I'll get a post up in a bit with my hands-on impressions.
11:15 a.m. PT (Declan McCullagh): I'll keep this conversation going for a little bit. Thanks, Josh, James, Donald!
11:15 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): So to wrap up, we've got a new iPad coming in two weeks that's got a faster processor, a beefier GPU for graphics, two cameras, and a new design.
We've also got iPad versions of iMovie and GarageBand.
On top of that, we've got a new HDMI connector, and neato magnetic covers.
11:16 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): From Donald, James and myself, thanks for tuning in!
Ep. 1418: Buzz Out Loud covers Apple iPad 2 announcement
Editors' note: The original, pre-event version of this story was posted March 1 at 12 p.m. PT.