Steve Jobs Appears at Apple iPad 2 Event

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Apple Sells 15 Million iPads in 2010

While analysts said the new iPad is not a game-changing product, they said it's likely still enough to keep Apple ahead of its rivals.

"It will certainly keep Apple on top of the tablet pile, but it is not a quantum competition-killing leap," said Greg Harper, president of technology consulting firm HarperVision.

He said the faster, lighter, dual-camera iPad 2 and updated operating system are in line with what industry watchers were expecting.

The HDMI video mirroring cable will please those who plan to use the iPad for presentations, but he said it isn't especially innovative, as the feature already exists for the Mac Air. Although the March 11 launch is better than expected, he said, it's still disappointing that Apple is not taking pre-orders for the iPad 2.

"I think the moves followed pretty logically and in the tradition of other revisions to first-generation products that Apple has made," said Ross Rubin, a consumer technology analyst for research firm NPD group and ABCNews.com columnist.

The thinner design will help attract more customers and the reduction in weight (although subtle) will improve users' experiences holding the iPad for reading or movie-watching, he said.

Rubin also said that the iPad's new processor will let developers introduce more sophisticated and graphically-rich gaming and content-creation applications. As Apple demonstrated with its iMovie and GarageBand applications, the iPad 2 can handle multiple video streams and multiple audio tracks at once.

"[The processor] helps attract new kinds of apps to the platform. … It helps the transition of the product from a consumption device to a productivity device," he said.

As for the price, he said, the iPad will be just fine competing with tablets from rival premium brands.

Consumers Expected to Buy 34 Million iPads in 2011, Research Firm Projects

In announcing the highly-anticipated original iPad last January, Apple CEO called it a "truly magical device." At the time, the iPad was virtually the only tablet computer ready for market and it quickly captured the attention of consumers and developers alike.

Since the first iPads hit store shelves last April, the company has sold about 15 million of its touchscreen devices. About 60,000 applications for the iPad are now available in Apple's App store.

But the tablet market has changed considerably since the iPad first came on to the scene.This year, Motorola, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion (which makes BlackBerrys) are all expected to unveil competitive tablets.

While Apple iPads captured about 85 percent of the tablet market in 2010, research firm eMarketer expects that number to drop to 78 percent in 2011 and 69 percent in 2012.

Of the 43.6 million tablets eMarketer projects that consumers will buy in 2011, it expects 34 million of them to be iPads.

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