As had been rumoured for so long, Apple finally unveiled its tablet device today. As the event kicked off, Steve Jobs promised a “a magical and revolutionary product.” Enter the Apple iPad.
Looking like an oversized Apple iPhone, the Apple iPad promises to be “a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.”
The Apple iPad is powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 processor. It will come with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen LED-backlit display (1024-by-768-pixel resolution), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, a speaker, microphone, a 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack, an accelerometer, and a compass. Battery life good enough for 10 hours of video or up to 1 month of standby. Weighing only 1.5 pounds, it will be about 0.5-inches thick.
The base model will come with 16GB of Flash memory and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi only. Other models will offer 3G connectivity (quad-band GSM and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA) as well as 32 or 64GB of Flash memory.
In the U.S., AT&T will offer two plans specific to the iPad. The first will offer 250MB of data for US$14.99 while the second will offer unlimited data for US$29.99. Activation will be done directly through the iPad and there will be no contracts. International deals are expected to be in place in June. What are the chances we will see similar plans in Canada?
On the software side, it runs both iPhone and upcoming iPad applications. Pixel-doubling support will allow iPhone applications in full screen. Apple is releasing a new SDK that will allow developers to update or write new applications supporting this new display. The SDK comes with an iPad simulator to run iPad applications on the Mac.
Apple is also introducing a new application called iBooks which will include its own iBookstore. A number of publishers are already onboard, including Penguin, Macmillan, Hachette, and Simon & Shuster. The iBook application will support the ePub format.
Apple also unveiled a new version of iWork with built-in support for the iPad. The main new feature is the new interface designed for the iPad. For example, it comes with different keyboard layouts for data entry. Each application in iWork will cost US$9.99 (or just under US$30 for all of them).
Pricing will start at US$499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model:
|3G and Wi-Fi
The Apple iPad Wi-Fi only model will start to ship in about 60 days. The 3G models will follow some 30 days later.
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