Liveblog from Apple's iPad 2 event

March 2, 2011: 12:55 PM ET

Fortune's Michael V. Copeland takes us into the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco with live coverage of Apple's media event.

Apple's iPad 2

Apple's iPad 2

[11: 10 AM PT] And the highlight reel of iPad 2 ends. Jobs back on stage. "It's in Apple's DNA, that technology alone is not enough. Technology combined with liberal arts with the humanities that makes our hearts sing." Jobs says these post PC devices need to be more seamless, more intuitive, a tighter combination of hardware and software. "We stand a pretty good job of being competitive in that market." Jobs asks the folks responsible for iPad 2 to stand. "As always, I would like to thanks everyone's families, they make it possible for us to work our tails off and make these great products for you." Unusual ending for Jobs, touching given his health. Jobs exhorts us to try the new iPad. Off to the hands-on.

[11: 04 AM PT] "We think 2011 is clearly going to be the year of iPad 2" Jobs says. Rolling video of iPad 2. Jonathan Ive talking about the design and how it was redesigned in such a short period of time.

[10:51 AM PT] Now into the Garage Band demo. Calling up almost two-octave touch key board that mimics the sound of a grand piano. Keyboard modulates sound depending on how hard you "strike" the keys. The accelerometers in the iPad measure the force. Cool stuff. Can move up and down the keyboard to cover all the real estate. Of course you can swap out keyboards, B3 organ for all those Little Feat tunes, other synths for your New Order and Cure covers.

[10:48 AM PT] Demo video of happy Apple users frolicking in Hawaii, zip-lining, splashing, but not screwing up their electronics. Jobs is back. "It's awesome" iMovie $4.99 in the App store March 11. Garage Band for iPad coming too. Touch instruments, guitar amps and effects, 8-track recording and mixing. 250+ loops.

[10:45 AM PT] Jobs introduces iMovie for iPad. Editing, multi-track audio, all sorts of bells and whistles. Demo from another Apple fellow. Not a toy, great for on-the-fly editing I imagine and now you can output directly onto your HD TV.

[10:38 AM PT] Face Time is naturally being brought to iPad. Can Face Time (that is video chat for the rest of us). Will work between any Apple products - iPad to iPhone, iPad to iPad, iPad to Mac. You get the idea, buy more Apple gear and the utility of the Face Time network grows. Free download March 11.

[10:34 AM PT] iOS 4.3 update. Scott Forstall takes the stage. Better Safari performance. iTunes home sharing. Airplay gets spiffed up. iOS 4.3 allows you to assign orientation switching to a slider switch. Personal hotspot if you have an iPhone4. Since there are cameras now, Photo Booth is now available for  iPad. Mirror your head, look like a circus sideshow, all the fun stuff you are used to in Photo Booth.

[10: 31 AM PT] Magnets are built into the iPad and the hinge. Cover just sticks on. $39 for polyurethane, $69 for leather. Bunch of colors to match your shoes or your glasses.

[10:26 AM PT] Some of the new accessory  goodies. HMDI mirrored video output, up to 1080p output, works with all apps. $39 plug into your HD TV and go. "Smart Covers" coming out too. Jobs talks about the drawbacks of the current Apple-designed cases. "It's not a case anymore, it's a cover, to cover the glass." Sort of a flap that folds to prop up iPad and is held onto the front of the iPad by magnets. Magnets "auto-align" cover. Microfiber lining cleans the screen, wakes up iPad when you open it. Made of polyurethane or leather. A bit like those slap bans that kids had, but with magnets.

[10:23 AM PT] Same battery life, 10 hours in use, a month of standby. "We are happy to keep that and never let it go." Also keeping the same prices, starting at $499 for 16GB Wifi only, up to $829 with WiFi + 3G and 64 GB of flash memory.  Jobs makes a dig at Motorola's $800 price tag. "When are we going to ship it?" March 11, a week from friday in teh U.S. March 25 in 26 more countries  - including all of our high volume countries. "This thing is going to be everywhere in March."

[10:22 AM PT] Two cameras, front and rear. 33% thinner (is it lighter?). 13.4 MM to 8.8 MM - the new iPad 2 is actually thinner than an iPhone 4. None of the competitors approaches this, Jobs sats. It does drop some weight, 2/10ths of a pound. Comes in black and WHITE. "We will be shipping white from day-one," Jobs says. Supports both AT&T and Verizon from Day One.

[10:22 AM PT] Jobs: We haven't been sitting on our laurels. In less than a year we are introducing iPad 2. "It's an all new design."  Faster with a dual core chip dubbed A5. Two time faster CPU, up to nine times better faster graphics. Same low power as A4 chip.

[10:20 AM PT] Jobs is declaring 2010 the Year of the iPad (I thought it was the rabbit, different calendar I guess). That 15 million figure of iPads sold is more than all tablet-type gadgets sold EVER. A video rolling that gushes about all things iPad.

65,000 apps specifically tailored for the iPad. Competitors at most have 100 tablet apps. "And I think we are being generous there," Jobs says.

Jobs is talking about the Post PC world that Apple and the iPad is dominating. Jobs makes a jab at competitors and how hard it is to beat Apple on pricing on the iPad. In nine months Apple sold almost 15 million iPads in 2010. Generated almost $9.5 billion in revenue in nine months. "We have never had a product that has had that fast a start." Jobs says "competitors are flummoxed" trying to find ways to compete. Jobs is on a role, having fun, and sticking it to the would-be iPad competitors.

iBook iTunes update: 200 million accounts  with credit cards. It is very likely this is the most accounts anywhere on the Internet according to JObs. Paid out $2 billion to app developers. Recently shipped the 100 millionth iPhone. Stupendous.

Steve Jobs strolls onto stage. "We've been working on this a long time, and I didn't want to miss it" Standing ovation. He looks a bit frail, voice not as strong, but looks good overall.

Don't see the usual gaggle of celeb technology folks and straight up celebrities in the house. A comfy chair and small table are all that is on stage. Just like the launch of iPad 1. Will Steve Jobs occupy that seat? We shall see. Most just smiling Apple folks, Phil Shiller, Tim Cook all the Apple heavy hitters sitting in the audience. Who is going top kick this off?

Seated a few rows back, listening to "Nowhere Man" and watching Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive,  venture capitalist John Doerr and others chit chat in front of the stage. A lone Apple glowing in the front. Are we going to have to listen to the Beatles at all these events now? "Ticket to Ride" now. I would settle for the start of things here in rainy San Francisco. Very soon. "Revolution" on now, we must be about to begin. Though chatter is that iPad 2 is more an evolution than revolution.

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About This Author
Michael Copeland
Michael Copeland

Michael V. Copeland joined FORTUNE as a senior writer in September 2007. Copeland has covered everything from electric cars to e-readers. He is a creator of Tech Mate, an irreverent video series in which he debates (and skewers) digital issues of the day. Before joining FORTUNE, Copeland was a senior writer at Business 2.0. Copeland graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

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