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Apple announces iPad

Steve Jobs rolls out the iPad – part iPhone, part laptop

Apple.com screenshot
The Apple iPad seeks to bridge the gap between laptop and smart phone.

The much-anticipated Apple tablet is real.

During a company press conference in San Fransisco today, CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, a 9.7-inch tablet that mixes aspects of laptop computers and the popular iPhone.

"A third device has to be better at web browsing, email, photos, videos, music, games, and ebooks than a laptop or a smartphone," Jobs said. "Otherwise it has no reason for being."

This new device resembles a jumbo iPhone, with a multitouch screen taking up almost all of its front side. Rather than a standard desktop interface, the iPad revolves around apps, bite-sized programs running one at a time.

Announced apps include:

  • YouTube, for standard or HD movies.
  • iBooks, a full-color e-reader with supporting download store.
  • Word processing and spreadsheet iWork programs, similar to Microsoft Office.
  • The iTunes store, which allows users to download music, games, and movies.
  • iPad will also run all iPhone and iPod Touch apps, in either their original size or blown up to fit the tablet's larger screen.
  • There will be six different iPad models, each price depending on hard drive size and wireless settings. A 16GB iPad will cost $499, 32GB will be $599, and the 64GB version will go for $699. All models include Wi-Fi Internet access – and 3G mobile antennas can be added for an extra $130.

    Just as with the iPhone, AT&T will provide the iPad's 3G service. The company will charge $14.99 a month for up to 250MB of data. An unlimited mobile data plan will cost $29.99 a month. Neither plan will require a contract.

    The iPad will ship in 60 days, with the 3G version arriving one month later.

    Check back with the Horizon blog (or our Twitter feed) for continued iPad coverage.

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    Coveting an iPad? Unimpressed by Apple's new device? Let us know in the comments.

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