Of course, it waited until the very end of the presentation to reveal the iPad HD. Before that, they went through their normal marketing spiel and then said that they were releasing iOS 5.1, with Japanese Siri support (we were already aware of that change to iOS).
In addition, iCloud now supports movies.
Apple then revealed a new version of Apple TV. The new version has a more iOS style UI, and also supports 1080p HD. The new Apple TV is $99, available March 16. Of course, March 16 is when the iPad HD release was expected.
Apple's event showed a new verve. Normally it goes through the initial stages of an event slowly. Within the first 15 minutes of the event they had announced three new products / features.
"This is a key reason why momentum on iPad continues to build and the competitive tablets aren't gaining traction. Everyone's been wondering... who will come out with a product that's more amazing than the iPad 2? Everybody's been wondering, well stop wondering. We are."
- There is a Home button.
- 2,048 x 1,536 resolution in a "retina display" (at 264ppi).
- A5X processor with quad-core graphics (not a quad-core processor).
- 5MP iSight rear-facing camera (taken from the iPhone 4S), with 1080p recording.
- FaceTime front-facing camera.
- Voice dictation (NOT Siri) (which ought to save the stress on Apple's servers).
- North American 4G LTE support, AT&T, Verizon, Rogers (with the different flavors being 21Mbps HSPA+, DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, LTE at 73Mbps) [of course, no one will get these speeds in real-life].
- Slightly thicker (as expected).
- 3G roaming globally.
- 10 hours of battery life for most tasks, 9 hours on 4G, which compares to the iPad 2, for which Apple claimed 10 hours of battery life for most things you do and 9 hours on 3G.
- US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan all launch on March 16, with pre-orders now.
- Existing apps will scale automatically. As you probably recall, when the iPhone 4's retina display came out, developers didn't have to make any changes themselves, yet their apps appeared better.
- No New Dock Connector
- No microSD slot
- No miniDisplay port
- iPad 2 to continue to be sold at $399 for 16GB, wi-fi (8GB had been expected)
Apple followed up (typically) with a ton of demos, including iPhoto, which had never been on the iPad before.
All of iLife is now available on the iPad.
One hilarious point: Apple did not reveal the name of the iPad until the very end of the event.
And in doing so, it was an anticlimax. Not only was the device not named iPad HD, it was just ... "the new iPad."
This ought to cause confusion, but it won't stop sales.