Yesterday, Apple unveiled the iPad 2, the second generation of its media tablet. The new iPad includes a dual-core processor, two video cameras, dual UMTS/CDMA 3G protocol support, and two enclosure colors. The iPad 2 also incorporates an updated ARM Cortex A9 dual-core applications processor architecture, improving overall computing and graphics performance. A new iOS release, version 4.3, introduces home media sharing and improved browser JavaScript performance.

The iPad 2 will be available for US buyers on March 11, while some 26 additional countries will commence shipment on March 25th.

“With no price changes or evolutionary additions to the original iPad’s capabilities, ABI Research expects it to be phased out quickly,” said ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr, in a statement. “Competitively, the addition of video cameras, a dual-core processor, and HDMI video output keeps iPad 2 in the running with other media tablets. Apple’s content ecosystem and integration with other Apple products remains a point of differentiation for the company.”

In 2010, Apple shipped nearly 14.8 million iPads over the trailing nine months of the year, approximately 85 percent of all media tablets shipped during the year and a significant increase over the 100,000 units shipped by all vendors during 2009.

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