New iPad to hit Australia 16 March


news Iconic technology giant Apple this morning revealed the new version of its flagship iPad tablet, noting that the device would be available in Australia along with a clutch of other countries from Friday 16 March — next week.

The key new feature of the new device is the Retina display which Apple first introduced on the iPhone 4, which will boost the new iPad’s screen resolution from 1024×768 to 2048×1536, delivering the highest resolution available on the market for a tablet, and making the screen much crisper and clearer than the previous iPad 2.

Secondly, Apple has improved a raft of other specifications on the new iPad, ranging from its processor (which is now a dual-core Apple A5X model, as compared to the previous A5 model), to the rear camera, which is now a five megapixel model, up from 0.7 megapixels (allowing for shooting of HD video), and its support for the incoming flood of 4G networks.

However, it is believed that the 4G speeds which the new iPad supports will not be available in Australia, with Apple’s technical specifications page only listing it as supporting the 700Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum bands, neither of which are being used in Australian telcos to provide 4G services. Telstra and Optus’ existing 4G rollouts are based on the 1800Mhz spectrum, although Optus is also planning a rollout in the 2.3GHz band. 4G is a term used to describe the next generation of wireless broadband services, which will allow speeds up to levels such as 100Mbps — far beyond the current generation of 3G services.

In Australia, the new Wi-Fi-only versions of the iPad will be available in black or white on Friday 16 March for a recommended retail price of $539 (for the 16GB model), $649 (for the 32GB model) and $759 (for the 64GB model). The version of the iPad also supporting 3G/4G mobile broadband will be available for a RRP of $679 (for the 16GB model), $789 (for the 32GB model) and $899 (for the 64GB model). The device will be sold through Apple’s online and retail stores and “select” authorised resellers. Apple has opened pre-orders for the device today.

Apple has also issued a price cut on its iPad 2 model, which will now be sold at $429 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $569 for the model also supporting 3G.

The iPad wasn’t the only aspect of Apple’s technology to be updated today. The company also:

  • Made available the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS. Version 5.1 features a number of new minor features and enhancements, including the ability to dictate memos to the iPad using Apple’s Siri voice assistant.
  • Introduced its iPhoto image editing app for iOS, and updated its existing iMovie and GarageBand apps. Productivity apps such as Pages, Keynote and Numbers have been updated for the new iPad’s higher resolution display
  • Introduced a new model of its Apple TV media centre box, which supports 1080p high resolution content streamed through iTunes and a new user interface that can also stream content from an iPad or iPhone 4S. Integration with Apple’s iCloud service means customers can buy content online and then have it pushed to their Apple TV. The new Apple TV will also be available in Australia on 16 March, for what is a low cost (for a media centre) of $109.
  • A new version of iTunes, version 10.6, which supports 1080p videos and a host of other improvements, including to Apple’s iTunes Match cloud music storage service.

The new iPad has been well received by key technology writers in the US so far. Engadget wrote about the new Retina Display: “Given that we’re unashamed Pixel Density Enthusiasts ’round these parts, seeing a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution display in the same area as the prior ‘Pads is stunning … Unsurprisingly, Apple has managed to produce something that’s truly beautiful to look at, and while we’ve yet to see the full potential of having this many pixels on a 9.7-inch slate, we’re guessing a cadre of game developers are already hard at work in order to remedy that.”

The Verge wrote: “It goes without saying that the screen on the device is absolutely stunning — while we haven’t had a chance to look through every possible app on the new iPad, the retooled stock applications and icons really do pop on the Retina Display. Just as when we first saw the iPhone 4 display, the New iPad’s 2048 x 1536 screen is stunning to behold. Simply put, there’s no other product like it on the market.”

Well, the pundits got basically everything right with this one. Apple’s new iPad features its famous ‘Retina Display’, as expected, and the company has made a big push into supporting 4G services. These were the major new features which everyone expected, and they were delivered.

It’s unfortunate that the new iPad’s 4G capabilities won’t work in Australia, but not entirely unexpected. With every next-generation mobile standard, it always takes a few years of jockeying around until all of the latest devices arriving on the market support the major carriers worldwide. The driving factor behind this is the availability of wireless spectrum. It’s in short supply, and telco globally are buying up assets left, right and centre and working with governments to free it up.

Let’s hope Apple can get the 4G issue right for Australian telcos next time around ;) Apart from that, there’s not really much to say. No doubt the local availability of 1080p content will lag behind that available internationally. The new iPad has overall largely better specifications than the old one, and no doubt will continue to sell like hotcakes. And that’s about all, folks!

Image credit: Apple


  1. i wouldn’t be surprised to see a telstra compatible version made available.

    telstra is a pretty big customer for apple. i can’t imagine them being left out in the cold.

    • As nice as that would be, I seriously doubt the monolith that is Apple will create an different iPad especially for Australia, let alone Telstra.. in the grand scheme of things, we’re beyond small fry.

      • There is enough 1800MHz networks around the globe, however, that I wouldn’t be surprised to see an iPad come out with that kind of support — perhaps in about six months. The speed of development in this area is rapid. I agree, however, that we won’t see an iPad specifically for Telstra.

        • i didn’t mean made specifically for telstra.
          i meant one that would be compatible with their 4G network.

          much like the way they released a cdma compatible ipad.

          • Honestly, to change the radio at this point of the production cycle would be massively expensive and a total kick in the teeth to the people that bought one early. The reason they released the CDMA revision was so it was on CDMA networks for sale (its just a good idea from a business point of view) and because it gave them a chance to revise the phone into something that would A: only be 1 base device to be made (cheaper build costs) and B: it fixed the known issues.

            I really think that with the changes that are currently shown, It’d be unlikely we’re to see an ipad prior to march next year. Outside of the display, there aren’t major changes. The device is relatively the same, outside of the processor change – which was totally expected; whereas the display was relatively left field. I didn’t expect the software to change much, I’d expect that Apple are pushing more for a big “new iphone” release more than the ipad, purely due to the current model being more of a let-down for the early adopters and tech heads (because of minimal changes) – consequently, this gave Samsung a massive push, actually knocking apple off their perch for a quarter.

            I cant imagine that would have sold well to the board members and they’d be looking to hit hard with a new iphone model to ensure it doesn’t reoccur.

            I think we’ve got interesting times ahead, purely because I really want to see what Samsung and Apple show up with in mid-year.

          • CDMA came because of Verizon Wireless in the US, the larger of the big 2 networks there. If Telstra had say 100 million customers like Verizon then maybe Apple would deploy one tailored to their network.

          • Haha no I meant you can’t make assumptions based off the CDMA version, because they only did that version because of Verizon’s 100 million customer’s. They will probably eventually branch out on different LTE bands but the regional differentiation now would be hugely cost prohibitive.

  2. Nothing to really see here from the Apple cash cow. But the Lemmings will be lining up to buy one.

    I’ll wait for the more portable Spark thanks.

      • Oh nice, yeah I’d probably buy that just for the hell of it, it sounds interesting.

    • Oh boy here we go. puts on flame-proof defensive Apple suit

      Nothing to see here? Funny you should use that verb, Given the new iPad has 2,359,296 extra pixels than the iPad2 to be precise, for a total of 3,145,728, I’d say there’s quite a bit to see actually :) Plus it has an improved colour gamut of 44% allowing much more natural colours and more accurate colour temp. Then there’s the much faster dual core A5X CPU, the new quad core PowerVR graphics, 1GB of ram, 5mp stills and 1080p video capture with image stabilisation, and the same high quality lens and sensor as in the iPhone 4S.

      In the keynote they were manipulating 19mp stills in iPhoto with almost no latency. That means you’ll be able to view high resolution stills and full 1080p films in all their glory at excellent frame rates, which is in itself amazing for a tablet.

      I really don’t know what people expect from new tablets other than improvements like the above. The existing iPad form factor makes sense to keep. They weren’t about to change aspect ratio (4×3 is the best compromise for a good reading experience in Portrait mode) so it was always going to be a 10.1 4×3 screen. The difference being that it now has a resolution much higher than my 50″ 1080p plasma! :)

      Apple innovate every year with incredible new hardware that I think some people now take for granted, or just refuse to recognise because they hate or fear Apple’s dominance. In reality the work required to engineer and build tens of millions of affordable retina iPads must have been insane and is an amazing engineering and production feat.

      Apple also have close relationships with innovative software companies who always have premium optimised content ready to go when new iDevices come out (Google could learn a thing or two there). The demos of apps like Garageband and iPhoto were mind blowing for a tablet UI in my opinion. It was only a few years ago my desktop struggled with pics that size in Photoshop.

      I’ll personally be keeping my jailbroken iPad2, until a stable jailbreak is released for the A5X chip and 5.1. I really want the new iPad, but I don’t want to lose all my cool Cydia apps and tweaks so I’ll be using two iPads for a while. Can’t wait :)

      • Apple innovate every year with incredible new hardware that I think some people now take for granted, or just refuse to recognise because they hate or fear Apple’s dominance. In reality the work required to engineer and build tens of millions of affordable retina iPads must have been insane and is an amazing engineering and production feat.

        Agreed Simon, Samsung and LG should be proud of their engineering feat. (inventing, engineering, and manufacturing the most impressive screen so far)

        • Sure Peter. They both make great screens for a number of other manufacturers who then do great things with them.  Both manufacturers produce screens in incredible volumes too. However why are you taking Apple out of the picture in regards to “invention” and “design”? Do you really think Apple didn’t have a say in the design of a an IPS screen, with exactly 4 x the pixels, specifically for their own iPad? I’m not seeing any 2048×1536 tablets from Sharp or LG or any other mobile screens in production even close to that pixel density from any manufacturer yet.

          There are however some great sounding 16:10 10″ Tegra3 tablets coming out with 1920×1200 resolution later this year, which will also of course be a big improvement over the current crop of 10″ 1280×800 devices (providing a good range of tablet apps are made to specifically take advantage of that resolution)

          Where the iPad has the edge is its marketplace and developer popularity, hence the awesome range of quality universal apps already available for iPad, that will be very quickly optimised to take advantage of the new iPad’s retina display (just as they did with titles being quickly optimised for the retina display when the iPhone4 came out). This is great for customers as it means an app they bought a year ago for a 1024×768 iPad will be given a makeover for their new iPad for no extra charge.

          My long winded point being; the invention of the iPad itself, not the idea of a tablet itself, not the design of a high pixel density screen from Sharp, nor the Sony camera sensor, or any other internal item made by other manufacturers, but the final product itself will be another fantastic device,  bound together by an OS  and software-ecosystem that is thriving. This is what makes iPads so impressive and the eny of every other mobile tech company out there. The iPad is more than just the sum of its parts.

          • Honestly, both my SAMOLED devices work excellently in sunlight. What shits me is the horrendous battery life once you turn the brightness up to counteract the sunlight …

        • With the big increase in resolution, and a screen apparently brighter than the last one the new iPad should be a great e-reader everywhere except outdoors (I agree with Renai that only e-ink can really achieve a satisfactory reading experience outside). If I crank the brightness on my iPad2 it’s useable outdoors, but given the reflective screen and reliance on backlight, it still looks pretty ordinary. I don’t expect the new iPad to be much better.

          Contrary to your claims about S-AMOLED being the best outside however, IPS LCD is actually typically much brighter than S-AMOLED indoors and out. S-AMOLED was produced specifically to rectify the problem that initial AMOLED screens were virtually unreadable outdoors. S-AMOLED is a big improvement over regular AMOLED for sure (and has some unique improvements of its own over LCD such as perfect blacks) but IPS LCDs are still brighter.

          S-AMOLED screens are also more expensive to make and suffer production shortages regularly, hence a few Android devices have switched to Super LCD halfway through their production cycle. Then there’s the issue of pentile S-AMOLED screens which I can’t stand compared to traditional RGB pixel layouts (although after seeing the Galaxy Nexus I’d agree with other people’s observations, that pentile becomes less of an issue at higher pixel densities).

          Are there any S-AMOLED tablets on the horizon does anyone know? The largest mobile S-AMOLED screen I know of is 4.65″, so I’d be interested to know if they are even a viable production alternative to LCD for larger tablet screens (at least at this stage).

          • Theres a few models bigger than 4.65 – the Note (half tablet / mobile) at 5.3, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 (will be End of Line by next month but it still makes calls). The Galaxy Tab 11.6 we should see launched tomorrow is likely a PLS TFT, Id be very surprised if they’ve conquered the SAMOLED on 11.6 Inches yet.

            The Galaxy S3 (based around conjecture obviously) will be SAMOLED, at 4.8.

            There are options, certainly I agree with your point on SAMOLED shortages. Theres one current at the moment, our network is struggling to maintain supply for the level of demand we’re seeing. Obviously the device has become phenomenally popular, in both performance and reliability stakes – which makes it an excellent choice along side an iphone. This is responsible for last two weeks worth of price rise on the handset.

            With SAMOLED vs IPS TFT, i’ll agree with brightness – but readability outdoors? SuperAmoled knocks it senseless. The blacks being alot richer and more prominent makes doing anything on your phone easier to do – i use mine when im training outdoors – i could barely see the text on an iphone unless i shaded it (iphone4 vs Galaxy 2).

            They’ve both got good an bad points, I know sometimes i would have preferred clearer text on the IPS TFT instead – but I just cant give up the usability outdoors, its a good trade for me.

            Have a look at the 7.7, i think they’re selling cheap at jb / dicksmith at the moment.

          • Thanks for the info Apollo. Very interesting. I forgot the Note was S-AMOLED. For some reason I thought it was Super-LCD, but I was just reading up on it then. Sounds like the pentile display is pretty damn good at 1280×800, apart from whites having a a bit of a blueish tint and colours being a bit over-saturated (I always find that with colours on AMOLED). To be honest I don’t even understand the point of the Galaxy Note though. Its too big to be a phone, and too small to be a tablet, so what exactly is this freak of a device? :)

            I didn’t know about the 7.7 being S-AMOLED either. I’d actually forgotten the product even existed (given Samsung have so many variations of Galaxy tabs out at the moment, I’m sure you’ll forgive me :) ). Interesting to read that it’s a S-AMOLED Plus screen too and given the difference that made to the Galaxy S II’s excellent screen, I’d be very interested to see how it looks at 7.7″.

            My dislike for pentile comes mainly from my old HTC Desire. Its only a first generation 800×480 AMOLED screen of course, but the pentile screen always gave me the shits even at 3.7″, and upgrading to the iPhone 4 was like night and day. My Desire’s AMOLED screen was useless outdoors too, so its time I checked out some newer S-AMOLED Plus devices for myself to see how they compare.

            One of the reasons I was doubting S-AMOLED were better than LCD outdoors was based on an screen comparison Engadget did in 2010 between the original Galaxy S and the iPhone 4 where they said:

            From Engadget:
            “Once again, it’s a pretty impossible task to differentiate between the output of the Retina Display and Super AMOLED, though if we have to choose, Samsung will get the nod. This really is a territory where personal preference will determine which the better screen will be, the differences are that minuscule.”

            Makes it sound like there’s not a big difference between S-AMOLED and LCD outdoors, but they do give the slight nod to the Samsung. My friend’s Galaxy Nexus didn’t seem that good outdoors either, but I’ll take your word for it that the Galaxy S’s Plus screen is even better given it;s the “Plus” variant. Perhaps having a full RGB sub-pixel layout gives it advantages in screen legibility outdoors too?

            Anyway if manufacturers can overcome the S-AMOLED shortages, and start to build high ppi S-AMOLED Plus screens into 10/11″ tablets, they will certainly have some big advantages over IPS LCD. Particularly for viewing HD films with nice inky blacks and great shadow detail.

            Interesting times ahead for display technology and tablets. Apple has the set the bar very high with the new iPad, so it’s ‘game on’ for high resolution mobile devices. My hope is that this new range of high ppi mobile screens will inspire monitor manafacturers to follow suit for PCs and Macs as well. Along with the rise of 1080p video – 1920×1080 in 16×9 or 1920×1200 in 16×10, have been the industry standard resolutions for screen sizes ranging from 15″ to 24″ for too many years now. I know there are higher resolution monitors available, but they are certainly not common or cheap, and are usually larger, so they still don’t have the best ppi. What I really want is an affordable 3840×2160 24″ IPS LCD monitor to run Windows 8 on :)

  3. Need to wait for the LTE1800 model. I wonder if they’d do an Australia specific version in the next month or two?

  4. I imagine they’ll account for Aus LTE networks when they release another new iPad sometime next year. By then LTE should be more commonplace; it’s not justified to change things at the moment.

  5. Chances are the next iPad will have an updated LTE chipset that might support LTE1800. After all, it wasn’t until the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 that UMTS900 was supported.

  6. I was amazed that apple would do it with just 700mhz LTE if apple put a chip witch does different bands and if HTC and Samsung can do it apple can do it as well lets hope they don’t do the same stuff up with the next iPhone or someone like myself will go android for phones and tablets and so as other people that wants LTE for speed on data download

    • Personally I doubt there are many people really hanging out for LTE speeds on the iPad. What would they be used for? I can already stream YouTube to my iPad 2 through Telstra’s Next G network. LTE wouldn’t really add much, in my opinion.

      • Exactly. I only have a wi-fi iPad 2 anyway and plan to stick to wi-fi only for the new iPad as well. Anytime I need to access a mobile network I tether it to my iPhone 4 which already achieves decent download speeds on Telstra’s network.

        HSPA+ or maybe LTE will be present on my next phone too, so I have no need for two mobile data plans.

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