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iPad 2 goes on sale Friday

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The new iPad will range from $499 to $829
  • Analysts forecast Apple will sell about 30 million tablets this year
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new tablet at the beginning of the month
  • The iPad 2 will be faster, lighter and include a gyroscope
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(CNN) -- The 2nd incarnation of the iPad -- the gadget that's become practically synonymous with tablet computing -- goes on sale Friday.

The first iPad debuted less than a year ago in April and surprised some analysts by becoming a runaway hit. The company sold 14.8 million iPads worldwide in the first nine months the device was available. Analysts forecast Apple will sell about 30 million tablets this year.

The iPad 2 will be faster, lighter and include a gyroscope, a feature that will enhance gaming options. It will have front and rear-facing cameras designed for video chatting.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new tablet at the beginning of the month.

"It's an all-new design," he said, adding the new iPad will be "dramatically faster" than its predecessor.

Like the popular iPhone, the iPad 2 will include a gyroscope, a feature that will enhance gaming options. Changes to the processor that powers the device could also dramatically propel the iPad as a game-playing device.

Jobs said the new iPad will have the same price structure as the current one -- ranging from $499 to $829.

Apple got a huge head start in the touchscreen tablet race with its iPad, but in recent months, rivals have begun catching up.

Now Apple is hoping to widen its lead again with the latest innovations.

CNN's Mark Milian and Doug Gross contributed to this report

[TECH: NEWSPULSE]

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