The original iPad, which launched early last year, proved to be a hit with physicians — some 22 percent of US docs were using iPads at the end of 2010, according to Chilmark Research. This morning Apple launched the iPad 2, a thinner, lighter version of the popular tablet device, which now includes two cameras, gyroscope, dual core A5 processor and more. It also features more of the same: Still $499 and the battery life is still 10 hours. As is tradition, and despite being on medical leave, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new device from the keynote stage in Cupertino, California.
A few minutes into Jobs’ talk (and before the iPad 2 was debuted), he played a video that chronicled the iPad’s adoption and uptake in various vertical markets during the past year. The second “vertical” featured? Medicine.
“Sometimes doctors are overhwhelmed with data,” Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO Dr. John Halamka said during the video. “What we have tried to do with the iPad is to give doctors at the point of care the tools they need at the exact moment the doctor can make a difference. We’re finding with the iPad doctors are spending more times with patients. In fact, doctors are engaging patients by showing them images, showing them data on the screen. So it has empowered doctors to be more productive but it has also brought doctors and patients together.”
Halamka, of course, recently announced that he would step down from his post as chairman of the US government’s Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP). Perhaps he’ll become a healthcare market advisor to Apple?
“So I think what is so exciting about the iPad, is it will change the way doctors practice medicine,” Halamka concluded. (Interesting footnote: Not too long ago, Halamka was pitching BlackBerry devices, remember.)
Jobs also included a couple of images of medical apps during his opening remarks. After noting that there are now more than 65,000 apps in the AppStore that take “full advantage” of the iPad, meaning they are designed for that platform and its larger screen and faster processor, he showed screenshots of a handful of such apps: “All sorts of… wonderful, wonderful apps… and a lot of apps for business and vertical markets like medical. The things people are doing here are amazing,” Jobs said.
“For those of you who have iPhone 4s, the new iPad 2 is actually thinner than your iPhone 4,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said during the keynote. “We are incredibly happy with this. When you get your hands on one, it feels totally different,” he said. “And all these other tablets are coming out — most of them even thicker than the original iPad — nothing even approaching this.”
Between April 2010 and December 2010 Apple sold almost 15 million iPads — “That’s more than every tablet PC ever sold,” Jobs said. “The tablet PC did not invent the modern tablet PC. It crashed and burned. The modern tablet PC is the iPad.”
The iPad generated $9.5 billion in revenue for Apple in 2010. “Many have said that this is the most successful consumer product ever launched.” In 2010 iPad had “over 90 percent marketshare and our competitors were just flummoxed,” Jobs said. “They went back to their drawing boards. They tore up their designs because they just weren’t competitive.”
Apple also showed clips of how the iPad had proven helpful for some people with Autism. Apps like Proloquo2Go help people with autism (and others who have difficulty speaking) to verbally communicate with others through their iPad.
Here are a number of other details about what’s new in iPad 2:
- iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than iPad 1.
- Features Apple’s new dual-core A5 process, which makes it twice as fast according to Apple.
- Rear-facing camera offers 720p video recording at 30fps along with 5x digital zoom.
- Front-facing is VGA-resolution but also records at 30fps
- Supports Apple video chat app FaceTime
- 3G connectivity from AT&T or Verizon Wireless available
- Available in white or black
- Includes HDMI output capable of 1080p
- Becomes available March 11
More in the press release from Apple after the jump: Keep reading>>