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May be while before new iPad hits Bermuda stores

Apple Unveils iPad With Sharper Screen to Widen Tablet Lead

The new iPad will be available in US stores from March 16, but it could be a while longer before the hottest tablet in the market hits Bermuda.

People have been asking about the new iPad for weeks, said staff at the iClick store on Reid Street, Bermuda's authorised Apple dealer.

Sales associate Chris Griffiths said the US, Canada and other markets would be supplied with the iPads first by Apple Inc, then the Latin American/Caribbean region, which Bermuda is grouped in.

He said there was no firm date as of yet for when the iPad 3 would be available at iClick.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for CellOne, which sells iPad 2 and the iPhones, said: ”CellOne will be looking at the possibility of carrying the new iPad.”

Apple yesterday introduced a new version of the iPad, with a sharper screen and faster chip to widen its lead over Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft and Google in the tablet market.

The device will cost $499 to $829.

It will include an A5X chip that enables better graphics, Apple said at an event in San Francisco.

And it will also boast a 9.7-inch screen that has more pixels than traditional high-definition televisions and run on so-called long-term evolution, or LTE, wireless networks.

Bloomberg reported that CEO Tim Cook is making the most significant upgrade yet to Apple's tablet months before Microsoft introduces software that will run on competing devices.

“The new version is also aimed at helping the company fend off competition from Google's Android operating system, as well as Amazon.com, whose $199 Kindle Fire is gaining traction among budget-conscious buyers,” Bloomberg said.

The new iPad will be available March 16, and Apple is taking orders starting today.

AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless will be the first US wireless carriers to sell the new device. Tells Corp., Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. will carry the new iPad in Canada.

Bloomberg said Apple gets about 20 percent of its sales from the iPad, attracting consumers as well as business users.

Cook also unveiled an update of the Apple TV set-top box with a new user interface and a so-called mirroring function that lets video from a user's mobile devices be played on TV. Photos taken from an iPhone will wirelessly sync using Apple TV. The device will cost $99 and also go on sale March 16.

Bloomberg said according to market research firm Gartner Inc., 103.5 million tablet devices will be sold in 2012, with Apple accounting for two-thirds of those. The figure will rise to 326.3 million in 2015.

The company's share will drop to 46 percent by 2015 as Google's Android gains customers and Microsoft enters the market.

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, which went on sale in November, has emerged as Apple's most credible competitor. Tablets introduced by Research In Motion Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. and Hewlett-Packard Co. haven't gained much interest.

“It's an iPad market, and then there's everybody else,” Howe told Bloomberg. “They are going to be selling them as fast as they can make them.”

Amazon has been able to make some strides in the tablet market with the Kindle Fire because of its lower price, and Amazon's website gives it a sales channel on par with Apple's retail stores, said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. Amazon's selection of movies, music and applications also is appealing to customers, she said.

The iPad has helped make Apple the world's most valuable company, worth $494 billion based on yesterday's $530.26 closing stock price. Since the device went on sale in April 2010, Apple's stock has risen 125 percent and quarterly sales have almost tripled.

One reason Apple has been able to maintain a dominant share of the tablet market is that wireless carriers don't play as prominent a role in sales as they do with smartphones, Howe said. Customers visiting a Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel Corp. store are often steered to a smartphone running Google Inc.'s Android software instead of an iPhone, he said.

Apple also benefits from its chain of more than 360 retail stores and the thousands of applications that are tailored specifically for the iPad, said Forrester's Rotman Epps.

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Published March 08, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated March 08, 2012 at 7:53 am)

May be while before new iPad hits Bermuda stores

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