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Less than 24 hours ago Apple® announced the release of it’s third generation iPad. As reported by Mashable, the announcement was made at an Apple Special Event held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The latest addition to Apple’s family of tablets, simply called “the new iPad,” was introduced by Apple CEO, Tim Cook as being part of a “post PC world” where “The PC is no longer the center of the digital world but rather just a device” along with a new Apple TV that supports 1080p video, iPhoto for iPad App and software updates to iMovie, Garage Band and iWork. Also, on the menu were price reductions for the Apple iPad 2 now offered at a more affordable price of $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.

Responses to the release are already flooding in, with the terms “new iPad” ranking #5 in “Hot Search” on Google Trends and a spate of articles on the blogosphere. While the jury is still out as to how much of a dent the lower price point of the iPad 2 will make on sales of competitor tablets such as the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook, AT&T new iPad pre-orders have already sold out.

Touted as “Resolutionary” in online promotions the new iPad boasts a Retina™ display A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics capable of capturing 1080p HD video. In a press release Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phillip Schiller described it as “…the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.” If you’re skeptical about how much difference 4x the number of pixels can really make just take a look at this video on Stuff TV showing a side-by-side comparison of the new iPad display versus it’s predecessor.

The upgrades, clearly aimed at satisfying increasingly image-hungry audiences of all stripes will definitely create additional design, production and workflow challenges similar to those encountered when designing for Google Android’s multiple displays. Jon Follet of Involution Studios sums up some of the design considerations in his article here. Although some are already feeling oversaturated by the avalanche of iPad news, others like designer Tom Muller @hellomuller, who tweeted “The new iPad makes the idea of creating iBooks that bit more exciting now.” are excited by the possibilities and I for one agree. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.