Phil Schiller introduced the new features of Apple's latest tablet device.
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to applause shortly Wednesday morning and announced that "Apple (is) on the forefront of post-PC revolution."
But Steve Jobs' hand-chosen replacement took his time before revealing the "poster child" of that revolution. When he finally did pull the veil back, the features on the third generation iPad were largely what consumers expected.
The new iPad will come with a Retina display and a more powerful chip, which will have four times the graphics performance power of other tablets.
Perhaps most importantly the newest iPad will be 4G LTE ready, which sets the stage for the next iPhone to follow.
The new tablet's resolution will have 3.1 million pixels, which Apple says is more than any other mobile device currently on the market.
It will also have a 5-megapixel sensor, that uses some of the same technology that's in the iPhone 4S and it will have up to nine hours of battery life when on 4G and 10 hours when on Wi-Fi.
Apple's latest tablet will also allow users to shoot video in 1080P HD quality and use an improved iSight camera in the front along with the HD camera on the back.
The new iPad will also be able to function as a personal hot spot for up to five devices on networks that support the feature.
There will also be new built-in apps for the tablet. One of which will be iPhoto, which will be similar to the photo-editing software on Mac computers but with the ability to touch them.
Apple's Senior Vice President for Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said the new iPad will be available on Verizon and AT&T and it is available for $499 and can be ordered right now on Apple's website in both black and white.
It will begin shipping on March 16.
For those who don't want to spend $500 on a tablet computer, Apple will keep the iPad 2 on the market for $399.
Cook said Apple's tablet computer is the "poster child of the post-PC world" and there is no better evidence than the fact that the company sold 15.4 million iPads in Quarter 4 of last year alone.
Cook said that more iPads were sold last quarter than any individual PC manufacturer sold all of their products.
HP was the next closest with 15.1 million computers sold last quarter, followed by Lenovo with 13 million.
The Apple CEO said a total of 315 million iOS devices have been sold and 62 million were sold in the last quarter of 2011 alone.
The event wasn't all about the iPad. Cook started the event by showing off a new Apple store in Amsterdam and he talked about revenue and how important Apple Stores are to the company.
The big trend he said was people are using Siri and that is why Apple is now introducing the personal digital companion with different accents.
Cook also announced that movies will be available on iCloud and the new Apple TV will be available in 1080P with a new interface.
The new Apple TV will also be available March 16 for the same price as the old one: $99.
Before the press conference started, there was a huge line outside the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco 30 minutes before the start of the announcement.
Inside it was the usual scene for an Apple launch, with bloggers and analysts crammed in among Apple fans all listening to hip music streamed overhead.
The Yerba Buena Center is smaller that the typical Apple venue and where the Game Developers Conference, which is taking over Moscone this week, is happening.
Ironically, most of the new games displayed at GDC were being made for the iPad and one of the more prominent news games coming to the iPad will be "Infinity Blade."
Cook closed the morning by saying Apple is "just getting started" and more is coming this year.