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Surprise! Steve Jobs Introduces the iPad 2

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To the surprise of just about everyone, Steve Jobs walks on stage today in San Francisco.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs, on a leave-of-absence for medical purposes, introduced the iPad 2 at an Apple event Wednesday. NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman live-blogged the event.

11:41 a.m. - Getting our hands on an iPad 2.

11:14 a.m. - Jobs: "These need to be easier to use, and more intuitive than PCs." "We stand a chance of being pretty competitive in this market." He now asks everyone who worked on the project to stand for applause.

11:12 a.m. - Jobs: "Technology alone is not enough.  It's married to humanity...nowhere is that more true than these post-PC devices."

11:05 a.m. - Jobs: "We think 2011 is clearly gonna be the year of iPad 2."

11:04 a.m. - Jobs:  "This not a toy.  This is for real work.  Teenagers will teach themselves music with this." Garage Band for iPad: $4.99.  Avail. March 11.

10:58 a.m. - New Garage Band for iPad is featured just like the one for your PC. You can, after making songs on iPad, send them to your PC. Jobs now back onstage.

10:57 a.m. - On a personal note, the drumming feature on the iPad2 may be the coolest thing ever. Just getting personal.

10:51 a.m.- Jobs back on stage. It should be said that he looks as good as he has recently at other events. Skinny, yes, but sure-footed, and energetic. Now showing off Garage Band for iPad2.  Rock & Roll!

10:45 a.m. - All about new video features now.  Facetime for iPad just like iPhone. Also, iMovie coming to iPad2.

10:45 a.m. - Steve Jobs shows off the new iPad.

10:35 a.m. - Apple now demo-ing Facetime for the iPad2. Very similar to the iPhone 4 demo - front & rear camera.

10:33 a.m. - The cases themselves come in ten colors. $39 for polyurethane. $69 for leather caes.

10:30 a.m. - Jobs:  Our case has to change, so we designed a new one.  It's not a "case," it's a "cover." It bends so you can use it as a typing stand. Automatically wakes up iPad when you open it, puts it to sleep when you close it.  Uses magnets so it fits.

10:28 a.m. - Accessories:  HDMI mirrored video output .. up to 1080p (works with all apps) = apps on your TV set.

10:26 a.m. - iPad 2:  Starts at $499.  Up to $829.  Same pricing as current iPad. It ships March 11 .. one week from Friday.

10:23 a.m. - iPad 2 sold in both black and white.  Jobs: "both available on day one." Also, from both AT&T and Verizon.

10:22 a.m. - iPad 2, says Jobs, thinner than iPhone 4.

10:20 a.m. - iPad 2:  Graphics 9X faster, thanks to new A5 chip.  Front & rear-facing camera.

10:19 a.m. - "This is just the beginning," with iPad. So, after one year, Jobs says "we'd like to build on that." "2011 is the year of the tablet. The other guys aren't even catching up to us, but we haven't been resting on our laurels.  We're introducing iPad 2." (Cheers)...

10:12 a.m. - Video showing now, about how the iPad is so successful. OK, we get it. Where's the new stuff?

10:11 a.m. - Jobs running through how successful iPad has been .. apps, sales, etc.  Lead up to new launch.

10:10 a.m. - Jobs:  We've payed out 2 billion dollars to app developers.  "This is why developers want to write for the app store." "We also shipped our 100 milionth iPhone."  Big cheers.

10:08 a.m. - Jobs:  Most of out revenues come from "Post PC" products.

10:04 a.m. - Steve Jobs walks out to a standing ovation.  Wow.

10:02 a.m. - About to start. Tim Cook in the audience .. Hmmmm.

9:49 a.m. - Sitting in the row behind Pixar stud John Lassiter.  Not sure what this means re:  a Jobs appearance, but it's cool. Beatles playing on overhead speakers.

9:43 a.m. - Just arrived at SF event. Even with cloudy weather, the place is getting packed.
Speculation:  New iPad, updates to MobileMe, and will he (Steve Jobs) or won't he (show up)?


Note: Published Wednesday morning before the event.

Secretive, inscrutable, manipulative, super-rich and ubiquitous ... no wonder every time Apple rustles the blogosphere ripples with rumor.

Drilling down on patents issued and production pipelines is more than a hobby for some sites, it's a downright business model. And good on them, too! What does Apple expect as it grows its fortunes -- and our very behavior and expectations? 

Today's iPad 2 announcement may or may not include a social networking reveal, an appearance by Steve Jobs himself, a simulcast with London using FaceTime, the lack of a retina display or the purchase of an entire nation to be renamed Macintosh (our own fanciful, unwarranted speculation -- but we hope it has a cool beach).

* PatentlyApple points out that Apple was granted a patent this very morning for some social networking imagery.

* TechCrunch combines the two biggest, nontragic news threads: Charlie Sheen and iPads (WINNING!)

* Silicon Alley Insider has leaked pics (that could be accurate)

* SAI also has a slideshow primer

* And PaidContent has a general, informed preview of the event and its possible impact.

Related Topics Apple, iPad
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