Apple's Jobs unveils 'intimate' $499 iPad tablet

Jan 27, 2010 By JESSICA MINTZ and RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writers
Apple CEO Steve Jobs shows off the new iPad during an Apple event in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(AP) -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's much-anticipated iPad tablet computer Wednesday, calling it a new third category of mobile device that is neither smart phone nor laptop, but something in between.

The iPad will start at $499, a price tag far below the $1,000 that some analysts were expecting. But must still persuade recession-weary consumers who already have other devices to open their wallets yet again. Apple plans to begin selling the iPad in two months.

Jobs said the device would be useful for reading books, playing games or watching video, describing it as "so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone."

The half-inch-thick iPad is larger than the company's popular but similar in design. It weighs 1.5 pounds and has a touch screen that is 9.7 inches diagonally. It comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of , and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built in.

Jobs said the device has a battery that lasts 10 hours and can sit for a month on standby without needing a charge.

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Raven Zachary, a contributing analyst with a mobile research agency called The 451 Group, considered the iPad a laptop replacement, especially because Apple is also selling a dock with a built-in keyboard.

But Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey said he does not believe the iPad offered enough additional features for consumers to justify buying yet another gadget, or to call it a new category of device.

In an e-mail, he criticized its lack of social features, such as ways to share photos and home video and recommend books.

Sitting on stage in a cozy leather chair, Jobs demonstrated how the iPad is used for surfing the Web with Apple's Safari browser. The typed an e-mail using an on-screen keyboard and flipped through photo albums by flicking his finger across the screen.

He also showed off a new electronic book store and a book-reading interface that emulates the look of a paper book. That puts the iPad in competition with Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle and e-book store.

Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies Inc. called the iPad a great multipurpose mobile device - and the first tablet with a chance of success with consumers.

But Bajarin said Jobs' presentation only touched the tip of what the iPad could do for newspapers, magazines and book publishers, three industries struggling in the transition to the digital age.

A new newspaper reader program from The New York Times and a game from Electronic Arts Inc. were demonstrated during the event. The iBookstore launched with titles from Penguin, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan, and will open up to other publishing houses.

Carolyn Reidy, chief executive of Simon & Schuster, called the iPad a "terrific device" that gives readers the ability to adjust the typeface and turn pages by touching a finger to the screen, as opposed to pushing a button, as the Kindle requires.

Applause rang out as Jobs stepped onto the stage to introduce the iPad to hundreds of analysts, bloggers and other guests at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Accompanied at times by executives from Apple and other companies, Jobs played showman throughout the hour-and-a-half presentation, slowly revealing details about the iPad. When he announced the price - lower than what had been speculated - it was accompanied by the sound of glass shattering.

Like iPods and the iPhone, the iPad can sync with Apple's Macintosh and Microsoft's Windows computers. Jobs said the iPad will also be better for playing games and watching video than either a laptop or the small screen of a smart phone.

Unlike a laptop, the iPad has an accelerometer, so gamers can tilt the device to control what's happening on the screen. And the iPad is lighter and easier to hold for long periods of time while watching a movie or TV show.

Its large screen makes it much easier to touch type than on a smart phone, and it is extremely responsive to finger swipes and taps for easy scrolling through Facebook, photo albums and news articles.

The iPad comes with software that includes a calendar, maps, and video and music players. All seem to have been slightly redesigned to take advantage of the iPad's bigger screen.

Still, tablet computers have existed for a decade with little success. Jobs acknowledged Apple will have to work to convince consumers who already have and laptops that they need the iPad.

The Apple iPad is examined after its unveiling at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

"In order to really create a new category of devices, those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks," Jobs said. "We think we've got the goods. We think we've done it."

Applications designed for the iPhone can run on the iPad. Apple is also releasing updated tools for software developers to help them build iPhone and iPad programs.

"We think it's going to be a whole 'nother gold rush for developers as they build applications for the iPad," said Scott Forstall, an iPhone software executive.

The basic iPad models will cost $499, $599 and $699, depending on the storage size, when it comes out worldwide in March.

Apple Inc. will also sell a version with data plans from AT&T Inc. in the U.S.: $14.99 per month for 250 megabytes of data, or $29.99 for unlimited usage. Neither will require a long-term service contract.

The iPad models that can connect to AT&T's wireless network will cost more - $629, $729 and $829, depending on the amount of memory - and will be out in April. International cellular data details have not yet been announced.

Shares of Apple rose $2.04, or 1 percent, to close Wednesday at $207.98. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's shares have more than doubled over the past year, partly on anticipation of the tablet computer. Shares in Amazon rose $3.27, or 2.7 percent, to $122.75.

Jobs, 54, a pancreatic cancer survivor who got a liver transplant last year, looked thin as he introduced the highly anticipated gadget, though he seemed to have more energy than at Apple's last event in September.

Apple had kept its latest creation tightly under wraps until Wednesday's unveiling, though many analysts had correctly speculated that it would be a one-piece tablet computer with a big .

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Facts on the new Apple iPad

These are the principal features and pricing of the new "iPad" touchscreen tablet computer unveiled by Apple chief executive here on Wednesday:

-- about the size of a piece of paper, the iPad is 0.5 inches (1.3-cm) thick and weighs 1.5 pounds (0.7 kilograms). It has a color 9.7-inch (24.6-cm) LED-display screen that allows for viewing video in high-definition

-- 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes of flash memory

-- a 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi version will be available in late March worldwide for 499 dollars. The 32GB Wi-Fi model will cost 599 dollars while the 64GB Wi-Fi model will cost 699 dollars

-- iPad models equipped with Wi-Fi and 3G will be available in late April in the United States and selected countries. The 16GB model will cost 629 dollars, the 32GB will cost 729 dollars and the 64GB model will cost 829 dollars

-- battery life of up to 10 hours from a single charge

-- runs almost all of the over 140,000 applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone available in Apple's App Store

-- an online "iBookstore" to complement the iTunes music store. iPad syncs with iTunes so applications and content downloaded from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to a user's iTunes library

-- a virtual touchscreen keyboard and the ability to hook up an external physical keyboard

-- iWork, a productivity suite of applications for creating presentations or working with spreadsheets and charts

-- powered by A4, a next-generation chip which Apple said provides exceptional processor and graphics performance

-- a Software Development Kit for iPad developers to create applications

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User comments : 37

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nrdufour
4.1 / 5 (7) Jan 27, 2010
A lot of "greatness", "awesomeness" indeed but that device is locked like a bank vault ... disappointing
Rynox77
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2010
The expectation is Apple will make this work commercially as well as the iPhone and Macbooks worked, but I'm not completely convinced the market will latch on to this thing as quickly as they did the iPhone. The biggest hurdle for the iPad is this: People just don't need it.

I love my iPhone, btw. Owned an original edge iPhone, but upgraded last year to the 3G. I won't carry another phone for a very long time.
grampo
4 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2010
The most interesting thing to watch during presentation was Apple's stock. The moment Jobs demostrated blown up iTouch, their stock went down like a rock. When he announced the price - moved up. But it coincided with all of the NASDAQ going up on the news of the appoinment (check out Palm, Microsoft, etc.)

What Apple did to the media prior o the event is just plain disrespect. Jobs's tatements like "This is the pject o my life" and comparing his tablet to Tablt with Commandments is ... wrong.
Sonhouse
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
The Japanese have already developed phones with fold up screens. I think this device will have to be able to fold up if nothing else but to protect the screen but to also make it more portable. It could be about the size of a keyboarded cellphone if it had two folds.
I don't think this kind of thing will take off till that development happens.
OregonWind
5 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2010
So far, it looks like a huge iPhone. I have an iPhone (and a laptop) and don't see the need for a iPad. Any thoughts?
Mr_Frontier
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2010
No Multi-Task; time to jailbreak another device.
PS3
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
Looks very ugly and no flash is a joke!
Rynox77
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
No flash?! Has this been confirmed by any other sources? That would be a joke as PS3 said.
boznz
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
Just ordered my Kindle, could have had it a month ago if it wasnt for this hype.
Bob_B
not rated yet Jan 27, 2010
YAAPOS. And expensive. Of course the "extras" are added money, money, money.
PS3
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
Rynox it's not confirmed i believe but looks to be that way.

http://www.engadg...r-couch/

Yelmurc
4.3 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2010
Why do people feel no flash is a disappointment? Flash is a huge resource hog and should be killed or at least fixed. HTML 5 is a much better platform for video and animation on the web. As for the iPad, I can see the appeal of it to more causal users who want a simple interface to view the internet, email, ebooks, etc... Will I buy one? That remains to be seen, I'll wait till I can go to a Apple store and hold one in my hands.
brant
not rated yet Jan 27, 2010
Firefox????????????????????????????????
ac04605
1 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2010
I have to say that I feel Apple is taking the first few steps towards revolutionizing how societies will interact in the future. I don't feel the Ipad will change the world, and I feel Rynox is true when they said "People just don't need it". However, Apple is giving ordinary people the power to create an endless variety of "apps" which will eventually express themselves in countless possibilities. If Apple can create a device capable of running home brew applications, they are putting the power of social change in our hands. Computers are becoming a universal language for most societies. Imagine how this idea will allow us to connect to other cultures for both business and pleasure. If we can create a universal platform for people to connect their ideas it will be so much easier for us to understand one another. Like I said before, I don't feel the Ipad will change the world; but creating a platform to easily share individual ideas and innovation will.
Arikin
4.7 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2010
Funny how the race to make things smaller brought us to tiny screens on our mobile phones. SO tiny that we can't see them very well let alone type on a keypad meant for dialing numbers not letters.

Now the race goes off the opposite direction from small to larger. mobile phones --> iPod --> iTouch/iPhone --> iPad.

Humans are funny little creatures :-)
Birthmark
1 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
I'm so excited!! The next cool thing will be things controlled by our minds :D Come on Apple, next year? :P
mattytheory
not rated yet Jan 27, 2010
i wont be buying one.
WeAreGods
not rated yet Jan 27, 2010
It's just not future enough to justify the hype. The technology is out there. I really thought this device could be it. Let's face it, this thing belongs on the coffee table. I want it to be a bad a$$ remote control that I can use as a video phone when my bro calls. And surf the internet when I'm sitting in front of the tv. Maybe a remote app will come out. That'll make me consider it. But why the f doesn't it have video phone capibility through voip? Honestly...where's the technology?
Rynox77
not rated yet Jan 28, 2010
Why do people feel no flash is a disappointment?


because people like to watch hulu
superhuman
not rated yet Jan 28, 2010
If it's user friendly enough it may work as an e-reader/internet browser for less computer savvy public. There is certainly some market for such devices as computers are way too easily messed up/infected.
NeptuneAD
3.3 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2010
The market has been screaming out for something like this, I can see the ipad becoming extremely popular once people start learning the touch gestures.
sloopdog
not rated yet Jan 28, 2010
what the iPad needs is an iSight camera built-in like the laptops. I think that would make this a much more socially interactive device. Maybe iPad 2Gen!?
El_Nose
3 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2010
Unforutnately Apple will never open the device to make it a true independant platform. Businesses will not be able to develop software in house to use on a device such as this that would truely be functional.

Such as -- a server taking your order at the table and relaying it immediately to the kitchen , a foreman or general contractor updating his supply database when noticing shortages on site and making reminder-- or just making an order for parts, A hospital needing a secure private program to transmit Xrays internally -- or a nurse making her rounds and checking off patients visited and what needs were met.

Sure a developer can make a universal stab at creating these - but most companies need the security of being able to modify the code themselves, of being able to personalize the software to their needs and to enforce their own security.

In short Apple could make a lot more money making the device more independant for software development --- more like a PC
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (47) Jan 28, 2010
@El Nose, Perhaps, but many such software system could interface through the Internet, as this opens the window to just about any web device. Computers and laptops will remain for complicated and processor intense tasks or the main software sys but will interface through the web.

I don't think this is a land mark device in terms of being something new, but because of the multi-touch OS, it's definitly a intersting alternative to a laptop for folks that just email, surf the web, music, movies, etc, etc.

It's remarkable that Microsoft did not develope a multi-touch OS and hardware standard, but then again Apple has always been ahead of the game.
Yelmurc
3.3 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2010
Why do people feel no flash is a disappointment?


because people like to watch hulu


Then they should be pushing Hulu to adopt HTML 5 and move the internet forward. Not complaining that Apple is refusing to use inefficient technology.
Yellowdart
5 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2010
It really seems to offer nothing you can already do on your phone or laptop, esp for 499.

Price point is too high, just ask the PS3.

It's just not practical enough and really offers nothing revolutionary to the average person, kinda like the Segway.

That and the name iPad sounds like a feminine hygeine product...
hiddayat
not rated yet Jan 28, 2010
Ya its very very good.
Royale
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2010
Windows 7 has multi-touch built in. just as an FYI. looks like a giant iPhone without the phone, or camera. I think i'll be buying myself a netbook instead. for $500 you can get a VERY NICE netbook nowadays. is touchscreen really that important to people? it sure isn't important to me.
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (46) Jan 28, 2010
I didn't know that about Windows 7, which tells you something about the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Keyboards and mice are soo old fashioned :)

I'm really kind of surprised at the low amount of flash-memory available on the initial versions, 64gb?!! My lossless music collection alone is that much, then there's movies and videos, pictures, pdf-books, etc. Isn't media the point of this iPad?

It would make a nice music server for an external DAC/AMP setup if it has bit-perfect digital out. Do we have to wait for an after market Line out Dock Apple?
El_Nose
5 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2010
@Noumenon
as this opens the window to just about any web device. Computers and laptops will remain for complicated and processor intense tasks or the main software sys but will interface through the web.


Those devices already exist. They have been here for years. That is my point this is really NOTHING NEW AT ALL... its a big ipod touch and nothing more. It could have been something more, it defineitly has the computing capability but they nerfed its abilities.

don't think this is a land mark device in terms of being something new, but because of the multi-touch OS,
It's remarkable that Microsoft did not develope a multi-touch OS and hardware standard, but then again Apple has always been ahead of the game.


REALLY?? not praising MS but its called the MS surface... and its been out for years in Vegas for testing. google it-- a couple years before the iphone. And windows 7 comes with multitouch capabilites as a standard.
El_Nose
5 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2010
This could have beena game changer -- instead they released a crappy nook , a gimped laptop ( didn't learn from the failed Mac Air ) , basically an really big ipod touch.

Where is the innovation that Apple lovers are always screaming about?? IMO Apple has been riding the wave of the ipod for 8 years now, from the classic -> iphone -> ipad and if they don't come up with a viable product other than being a decent phone maker, and walkman manufacturer they will be back where they were in the 1990's when MS had to give them money to keep from going under.
NeptuneAD
1.7 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2010
Yes I would so much like apple to fall on their backsides, however this product is innovative, it is just that people don't recognise that yet, we have been teased with touch techonology for years and finally someone has the balls to do it.

Althought I do believe it is going to take a while for consumers to tell apple what is missing since they have never had a mass produced product quite like this before.
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (46) Jan 28, 2010
Perhaps, but many such software system could interface through the Internet, as *this opens the window to just about any web device. Computers and laptops will remain for complicated and processor intense tasks or the main software sys but will interface through the web. [*this = 'interfacing through the Internet']


Those devices already exist. They have been here for years. That is my point this is really NOTHING NEW AT ALL... its a big ipod touch and nothing more. It could have been something more, it defineitly has the computing capability but they nerfed its abilities.


Yes, I know those devices already exist, and I agree with you but not for the specific reasons you cited above. I'm not saying 'the iPad opens [any new] window', please reread. I'm saying "just about any web device" could solve the problems you cited. In anycase, yes, it appears that Apple may have missed a huge opportunity in not making this a laptop/netbook killer, with a real OS.
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (46) Jan 28, 2010
for a poignant laugh, search "Hitler responds to the iPad" on youtube.
Arikin
not rated yet Jan 28, 2010
I wish they would sell them without an OS pre-installed. Or at least with the OS selectable. If the hardware drivers can be supported I would love this in Unix...
Mercury_01
3 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2010
No wonder its so fast. One app at a time? useless.
Koen
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2010
Jobs and Apple created another fine product. IPAD is not revolutionary, but an elegant next-step in the evolution of PC and portable devices.

For instance the Apple CPU enables a thin tablet with long battery life. Other tablet products do not come close to the IPAD parameters. Since there are only limited technological possibilities, Jobs and Apple made logical, consumer aware choices.

Only one question pops up about the IPAD: why the black border around the touch screen? Is it necessary to handle/hold the device without touching the touch-sensitive screen? It looks like a waste of screen space, just like the 'slate' and other tablet devices.

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