The new iPad 2 went on sale in the United States last Friday, with Apple fans queuing at the company’s stores across the country to be among the first to snap up the coveted tablet computers. signaling a strong appetite for a device that dominates the fledgling market it created. Apple began selling the iPad 2, which was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs last week. The iPad remains the most affordable tablet on the market, starting at $499. Estimated shipping times for iPads ordered at Apple’s online shop went from a few days to a few weeks, indicating strong demand by people who didn’t want to face queues at real world stores. A line of people, including some who camped out overnight swathed in rain gear and equipped with chairs and big umbrellas, formed around the block outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York City, hoping to be among the first to get the thinner, lighter and faster iPad. The iPad 2, which is one-third thinner, nearly 15 percent lighter and faster than the model released in April 2010, will be available in around two dozen other countries later this month.
It is thinner, faster. Besides the size and weight, the other major improvement to the touchscreen tablet computer is the addition of front- and rear-facing cameras that allow users to take still pictures and video and hold video conversations. Like its predecessor, the iPad 2′s main chip is designed by Apple. The iPad 2 also includes chips from Broadcom and Texas Instruments, as well as flash memory from Toshiba Corp, according to an analysis by iFixit, a company which provides repair services for Apple products. The benchmarks for the iPad 2 are clear. The first iPad sold 300,000 units on its first day, 500,000 in the first week, and crossed the 1 million unit mark in 28 days.
In addition to being sold at more than 200 Apple outlets in the United States, the iPad 2 was available starting last Friday in the stores of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, as well as Best Buy, Target Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
More than 65,000 applications have been created for the iPad, while there are currently only about 100 crafted for tablets running Android. The iPad 2 is selling at the same prices as the original iPad, ranging from $499 for the 16-gigabyte version to $829 for the top-of-the-line 64-GB model.
The iPad 2 will be available on March 25 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.