Things are not looking good for the Xoom.
The rumors were true. Steve Jobs is on stage at the iPad event right now, and he's just announced the iPad 2. This updated slate packs the new dual-core A5 chip, which is up to twice as fast. Jobs claims that the new chip offers nine times the graphics performance of the A4. It has both front and rear-facing cameras and a gyroscope. As espected, the iPad 2 is much slimmer- 8.4 mm thick, instead of 13.4 mm. The weight is also down a notch, from 1.5 pounds to 1.3 pounds.
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The iPad 2 is available in black and white and will ship on March 11. AT&T and Verizon models will also be available. The battery life is holding strong at 10 hours, and standby time is rated at an astonishing one month. Entry level prices are the same: $499, $599 and $699, for 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB models. 3G versions go for $629, $729 and $829. The iPad 2 will be available in 26 countries by March 25.
HDMI-out is supported, as are 1080p video and apps.
With this launch, Apple has ensured the continued ascendance of the iPad brand. Apple met the Xoom head-on here, and blew it out of the water in every category that matters to consumers. You've got 1080p video capability, a thinner and lighter body, a battery life that is likely still superior, and the App Store.
As Jobs made a point of noting in his speech, there are some 65 thousand tablet applications currently available on the App Store. Compared to roughly 100 Android Honeycomb apps. It isn't favoritism to recognize Apple's tremendous advantage here.
While the Xoom is only available at $800 sans contract, the iPad 2 starts at $499. And the Xoom had less than two weeks of unencumbered sales before the iPad 2 announcement. With Apple's next great thing shipping on March 11, how many people will show any interest in the Xoom?
Acer and Asus and HP may have been wise to delay their launches until after the iPad 2's launch. Today's event is going to cast a long shadow. For at least the next product cycle, Apple's lead seems assured.
More details on Apple.
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