Apple announces iPad

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


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

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