In Apple’s reality-distortion field, an upgrader is born

March 3, 2011, 1:01 AM UTC

Why Apple’s latest switcher is already upgrading to the iPad 2.

My wife pleaded to take my iPad with her on a flight today, the better to occupy our daughter while airborne. I texted her from Apple’s event to announce the iPad 2: “I think you just got yourself an iPad.” I might more succinctly messaged: “Keep it. I’m getting a new one.”

By now the Apple event has been tweeted, live-blogged and commented upon ad nauseum. So here are a few higher-level takeaways, behind the fact that the growing legion Mac fanatics will be waiting to buy (or already are pre-ordering) their thinner, lighter, cooler iPad 2s on March 11.

* Steve Jobs is alive and apparently as well as he has been for months. He looked perhaps a little thinner than in October, and his voice faltered at times. But for all the people who thought they wouldn’t see Jobs in public again after his announcement in January of a third medical leave, they were wrong.

* You can tell the tropes Jobs thinks are important by how often he repeats them. “Post-PC world” was that trope today. Though I’m writing this post on a PC with a keyboard, it’s  easy to see where Apple is leading. Just seeing how an Apple executive turned his iPad 2 into a piano using Apple’s GarageBand for the iPad proved the point. You can see how little by little the iPad is doing everything a Mac can do.

* Apple takes the competition seriously. He repeatedly slammed Samsung and Motorola and Google, sometimes by name, sometimes by obvious inference. There’s no doubt Apple is out front on tablets. Way out front. There’s also no question Apple is paying attention. It still thinks like an underdog. Even if it isnt’ anymore.

* Apple TV is inching away from the hobby category. Apple unveiled a super easy way to connect an iPad 2 to a TV using Apple TV. With the ubiquity of iPads, this fringe application that numerous players are chasing (Roku and Google to name two), is ever closer to becoming a reality.

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