The first iPad made computers funner than ever before. The iPad 2 was slimmer, added cameras and a Smart Cover. What next for Apple's tablet? Will we see the iPad 3? Will it have a hi-res Retina Display? And will we want to instantly burn our existing tablets to get our hands on its shiny, rectangular newness? Answers to all these can be found below in our liveblog, updated live throughout the launch event... read on for all the details.
Oldest posts first – please scroll down for iPad 3 updates...
17:55 Okay, we're seated (second row – get in!). We're in what feels a lot like a lecture hall near King's Cross in London. Lots of people in blazers, looking excited. Five minutes to go...
17:57 The Black Keys on the stereo. I'm a Lonely Boy. It's a bit bassy. Apple never was much good with speakers.
18:00 He's on! Tim Cook. But we can't hear him – we can only hear Maccabbes.
18:01 Black shirt on black t-shirt. He's a style icon is Tim. He wants to talk about the 'Post PC Revolution'. Whatever that is...
18:02 A world where your new device need to be more portable, more personal, and easier to use than any PC has ever been. In many ways, the iPad is reinventing portable computing and it's outstripping the wildest of predictions.
18:03 Last year 172 million post-PC devices (iPods, iPads and iPhones) were sold – accounting for 76 per cent of Apple's (massive) revenues. Tim Cook's talking about retail stores. Amsterdam is the latest and largest Apple Store. People laughing at the size of the queues (though not here in King's Cross – we don't laugh, we type).
18:04 Now a video of an Apple Store. Lots of whooping and high-fiving. In America, obviously.
18:05 Black trainers and jeans, too. Tim Cook is single-minded. Or he just really likes black.
18:06 A whopping 315 million iOS devices sold last year, 62 million in the last quarter. Stats stats stats!
18:07 'Siri is your best friend' says Tim. Nope, Charlie is still my best friend.
18:08 Tim is playing Siri's international voices. Japanese launches today on iOS 5.1. We called that.
18:09 There are 585,000 apps in the App Store – and the 25 billionth app has just been sold in China (it was a free one, though).
18:10 Now on to iCloud – simple, elegant, automatic – it just works. iCloud now has 100 million customers. iTunes in the Cloud supports Movies as of today. You can re-download your purchases on any of your devices, and iTunes downloads now support 1080p!
18:11 New Apple TV to support them. New interface design and 1080p support. It looks the same. Still a little black box. Here's Eddy Cue to demo it for us. He has a nice smile. Come on, Eddy, show us what you've got.
18:12 New UI looks pretty. It works with iTunes Match and accesses the Photo Stream you have on your other iOS devices. Take a snap on your phone and it'll be available on your Apple TV box instantaneously. Probably.
18:14 Apple TV also gets Genius, recommending movies to watch based on what you watched before. Megashark vs Giant Octopus hasn't been demoed, sadly.
18:15 Apple TV also streams movies direct from iCloud. It's US$99, available next week (in the States, at least). Next up, iPad! Wait for it...
18:17 First, iPad stats. iPads are outselling other companies' entire PC sales across all of their products. Stop stalling, Tim – where's the new one?
18:18 These stats are 20 per cent less interesting than the patch of wooden floor between my feet.
18:19 The iPad now has more than 200,000 dedicated apps. How to choose?
18:20 Sticking the boot into the rivals! Exciting. Twitter on the Samsung Galaxy Tab is his target – 'it looks just like a blown-up smartphone app!'
18:22 'Who will come out with a product better than an iPad 2?' Tim asks.
18:23 'Stop wondering – we are!'
18:24 'We're redefining the category Apple created with the original iPad.'
18:25 It looks the same. Phil Shiller is here to explain that it isn't. As expected, Retina Display. Whoops (from Americans). The screen is still 9.7inches. The new iPad (iPad 3 or HD?) has a higher resolution than the projector Apple is using for the presentation – 2048x1536, 3.1m pixels. Crisper than a multipack of Walkers.
18:26 It's 264ppi, showing over a million more pixels than your HDTV.
18:27 Held at a normal distance (15in) you apparently can't discern individual pixels. The Retina Display also has 44 per cent better saturation.
18:28 The processor is, as rumoured, an A5X, not A6. Plus there's quad-core graphics. Apparently A5X has four times the graphics performance of a Tegra 3. Ouch! But is it still dual-core for processing Phil? Don't skirt the details!
18:29 And there's an iSight camera – 5MP, BSI (back-side illuminated), five-element lens and a hybrid IR filter.
18:30 The demo shots look nice. Face detection, autofocus, AE lock and AF lock are all present and correct.
18:31 It'll do HD video at 1080p, too. Perfect for sharing with the new Apple TV. How very convenient...
18:32 Voice dictation is upgrade number four. Like Siri... but not Siri. At least not yet. Maybe that's upgrade number five.
18:33 Nope – number five is 4G. Sweet! Well, if you live in the US...
18:34 If you don't, HSPA+ will give a 21Mbps downllink and DC-HSDPA will give 42Mbps. LTE does 73Mbps, though. That's sexy fast.
18:35 So the UK (and other non-4G territories) are covered whether they get 4G this year or not. This is excellent news.
18:36 There will be different versions of the iPad for differnt LTE carriers, but 3G will work worldwide...
18:37 ...and it's a personal hotspot. To wrap: Retina Display, A5X, 4G, 1080p video, 5MP camera – and the battery life is the same as iPad 2: 10 hours. Impressive.
18:39 Same dimensions and weight, same prices, same storage – 16, 32, 64GB, availble on March 16th.
18:40 Pre-orders start today! Including in the UK! Thank you, Phil.
18:42 How do apps work on the Retina Display? They will scale just fine, but developers can do nice new things, too. Here come the demos...
18:43 Namco is on. Chap called James Shelton. He's showing off Sky Gamblers – Air Supremacy, a flight sim. Never has a game had a sillier name. This bodes well.
18:45 Namco is on. Chap called James Shelton. He's showing off 'Sky Gamblers - Air Supremacy' flight sim. Never has a game had a sillier name.
18:46 The graphics do look a bit special. Not dissimilar from HAWX 2. Fifty jets in the air and no slowdown. Lots of claps. Did you guys not hear the name?
18:47 'The only place to truly experience the richness of detail is on the iPad itself,' says James Shelton.
18:48 Now Autodesk, creators of Sketchbook Pro and lots of serious CAD stuff.
18:49 The app's called Sketchbook Ink, a vector-based drawing app that works alongside Sketchboo Pro. The Retina Display looks crazy crisp. The app supports images bigger than 100MP. What?! Our minds are – frankly – blown.
18:50 It'll be an iOS exclusive, and it looks a bit of a doozy.
18:51 Next up, Epic Games. Mike Capps is doing the hard sell. A new Infinity Blade: Dungeons. 'A visual feast of unprecedented detail,' says Mike Capps. The dynamic lighting is very, very nice.
18:53 Mike Capps says the new iPad has more memory than an Xbox 360 or PS3. We'd like to point out that it has less buttons, though. Make of that what you will.
18:55 Looks like it's time for an iWork chat. All updated to take advantage of the Retina Display. It's a free update if you already have iWork.
18:57 GarageBand gets new features – smart strings, note editor, iCloud backup and extra sharing options, plus Jam Session: up to four iOS devices can collaborate and record together. You can form your own iPad band.
18:59 In iMovie you can make yourself a movie trailer, like in the desktop version. The built-in templates look almost pro-quality. Lots of bokeh. That's the arty out-of-focus stuff for the non-photographers out there.
19:01 New, today – iPhoto!
19:02 You can edit your snaps via multi-touch, apply brushes and 'beam' photos directly from your iPhone to your iPad. It's not quite Photoshop Touch, but probably a bit less scary for your gran's iPad.
19:03 Randy's here to talk us through it...
19:05 iPhoto does look a very good way of comparing photos. Works with images up to 19MP. Randy's holiday snaps from Antarctica look lovely.
19:06 Fixing the horizon line gets the US crowd going (again). It is very clever. Adjusting contrast, saturation, skin tone white balance using multitouch tools... we can get on board with that.
19:10 Brushes and effects such as Tilt-Shift and Black & White look amazingly powerful.
19:12 The coolest thing is the gallery (these are called Journals) – create a collage of images and you can drag in dates, maps (based on geotags) and even temperature. Then share to social networks. Maybe Pinterest.
19:14 All iLife apps (iPhoto, GarageBand and iMovie) will be US$4.99. Available today.
19:15 Feels like it's a wrap-up now. The 'new iPad' still doesn't have a name.
19:16 One more thing!
19:17 Apple is launching its own Matrix-style human battery farm! Not really. We're watching a video about the new iPad, covering the stuff we just heard.
19:18 'This is the most advanced display you've ever seen,' says the vid. All of the people on the video are just calling it the 'new iPad'. Surely it has a name? Give it a name, won't you, Apple?
19:19 Along with the 'new iPad', the iPad 2 wil remain. It'l cost US$399 (US$100 reduction) for the 16GB one.
19:21 Tim Cook is back in black. Properly wrapping up now. Showing us the ad that your mum will see soon.
19:23 Even in the ad, it's called the 'New iPad'. That's not going to work next year now, is it?
19:24 And that's it. No 'one more thing' or owt. Well, it's been a pleasure. We're off to get hands-on with the new iPad.