As with most Apple gadget launches, there are sure to be early morning crowds outside the company's big city stores Friday - but not everyone will be there to buy a new iPad.
At Apple stores in New York, San Francisco and Washington, dozens of protesters are expected to show up for the 8 a.m. launch of the company's third-generation tablet computer, stepping into the iPad's limelight to bring attention to concerns about the welfare of the Chinese factory workers who churn out the devices to satisfy a growing global demand, says Chicago Tribune.
In the comparison I'll be making here, I focus on the new iPad, the older iPad 2, and three recent and highly ranked 10.1-inch Android challengers: the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (for this review, we tested the 4G LTE version), and the Toshiba Excite 10 LE (formerly known as the Excite X10)--the thinnest and lightest tablet on the market, and one so new that it's still making its way through our testing. All three Android models here have 1280-by-800-pixel resolution, which means that their pixels-per-inch spec beats the iPad 2's, 150 ppi to 132 ppi.
For its part, the new iPad packs a gorgeous, high-resolution Retina display with 2048 by 1536 pixels, yielding a whopping 264 ppi--and yes, those pixels make a difference. A big difference, informs PCWorld.
Crowds were down on previous Apple launches, but there was still excitement as stores opened. "I've come from Russia to buy an iPad for my three-year-old son David," Oleg Konovalov, a newspaper salesman, told Reuters in Tokyo. "Everyone in Russia wants an iPad, but to buy it there I will have to wait several months." "This reminds me of the time 30 years ago when I waited 8 hours in the cold to see Lenin's Mausoleum." The buzz helped propel Apple shares to record highs in U.S. trade on Thursday, with Apple stock touching a high of $600.01 before easing back.
It peaked half an hour after the first iPad went on sale in Australia, extending the market worth of the world's most valuable company to almost $560 billion.
Only a month earlier, the stock price had crossed $500 for the first time. The stock has jumped 45 percent this year.
At Thursday's closing price of $585.56, the stock is far more expensive than the $499 starting price for a Wi-Fi iPad, according to euronews.