At a special event held this morning at Apple headquarters, CEO Steve Jobs introduced an “ultra-magical, breathtaking, life-changing” new 42-inch widescreen iPad. The device, which he christened the iPad 42, capitalizes on consumers’ rising use of tablet computers — a market Apple has dominated since the introduction of the first iPad in early 2010 — for viewing video.

The latest iPad will retail for $1,699 when it goes on sale, first in the United States, on Sept. 22. An innovative origami-style cover, sold separately, allows it to be propped up at a 90-degree angle or even hung from a wall, though Mr. Jobs emphasized that the iPad 42 is “surprisingly light” at just 38 pounds and is meant to be a portable device…

…Still, some industry observers questioned whether consumers might be confused by Apple’s new offering, given that its form factor is similar to that of other existing products. “Of course, when the first iPad came out,” said tech analyst Delia Dougherty, “people dismissed it as just a giant iPod Touch, and then Apple went on to ship 15 million of them by the end of 2010. Call the iPad 42 an iPad on steroids or a glorified flat-screen TV set if you want — but remember, whatever it is, it has Apple’s logo on it, and that makes it a game-changer.”

Simon Dumenco, AdAge, reporting from next year as part of a series looking at the future of television.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Introduces iPad 42, ‘Ultra-Magical’ New 42-inch iPad.

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