Apple will webcast iPad event today to everyone

10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) event available for viewing on Macs, iOS and Apple TV

Apple will webcast its San Francisco event today, where the company is expected to reveal refreshed tablets, including an iPad Mini with a higher-resolution Retina-quality screen.

The webcast, which Apple announced on its website, will begin at 10 a.m. PT. (1 p.m. ET).

Earlier today, several Apple-centric blogs, including MacRumors, noted that the event would be cast to Apple TV, the puck-like device that connects to television sets for streaming iTunes and other content. Apple later posted the event to its Apple Events page, saying other devices could receive the webcast as well.

The move was identical to last year's, when Apple webcast the Oct. 23 launch event, where it debuted the iPad Mini and released the fourth-generation 9.7-in. iPad.

"Live Streaming video requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later," the notice on Apple's website stated.

As is its practice, Apple has said nothing specific about the event, other than to write, "We still have a lot to cover" in the invitation that reached analysts and the press last week.

Analysts expect Apple to reveal a fifth-generation 9.7-in. iPad to replace the year-old model introduced last year, and to refresh the 7.9-in. iPad Mini. On the latter, however, opinion is mixed whether Apple will trot out a new tablet with a high-resolution screen, dubbed "Retina" by the company. A majority of the experts -- both industry and Wall Street analysts -- believe Apple will.

The webcast, while not rare, is unusual for Apple, which does not publicly broadcast all of its product launches. The last time it did so before last year's iPad Mini event was in 2010, when former CEO Steve Jobs revealed a revamped and lower-priced MacBook Air.

Apple always webcasts the keynotes of its annual developers conference, WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), which are held in June.

Webcasting today's event may be Apple's response to other Tuesday launches, including Microsoft's debut of its own Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, and Nokia's unveiling earlier today of the Lumia 2520 tablet, which runs Windows RT, Microsoft's struggling tablet operating system.

At the Nokia event in Abu Dhabi, the Finnish phone maker -- which will be acquired by Microsoft early next year if regulators approve the deal -- said the Lumia 2520 will ship in the U.S., the U.K. and Finland before the end of the year, and cost $499 before taxes and subsidies.

Apple invitation
Apple will webcast today's invitation-only product launch event, where most expect the company to debut refreshed iPads, including a Retina-quality iPad Mini. (Image: Apple.)

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is

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