Apple have unveiled the iPad, their long-awaited and much-rumored tablet. A half-inch thick slate, the iPad has a 9.7-inch LCD IPS 1024 x 768 display with multitouch, , WiFi 802.11n and – optionally – integrated 3G, the iPad is based on a new 1GHz Apple A4 of the company’s own design. Onboard storage ranges from 16GB to 64GB, and the whole thing runs the iPhone OS with a new, custom UI. Best of all, pricing will start at $499 when the Apple iPad begins shipping in around 60 days time, with $130 on top for adding integrated 3G. More details after the cut.
The iPad battery is apparently good for up to 10hrs use, or a month of standby, and it recharges via a 30-pin dock connector that’s also used to sync with iTunes. Elsewhere there’s a digital compass and accelerometer, and the iPad can be used in both portrait and landscape orientations; in the latter, the on-screen keyboard is, Apple reckon, almost as large as a MacBook keyboard. Hooking up your regular Mac or PC triggers an iTunes sync of all multimedia, apps, bookmarks, calendar entries and other data, just as it does on an iPhone.
Fresh to the iPad is a new ebook reading app, iBooks, complete with an ebook store for wireless downloads. Apple have partnered with Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan and Hachett Book Group, and ebooks can include color and B&W content, together with images and video. Samples and reviews will be available, and there are page animations for reading. Fonts are interchangeable and resizable, and there will be a range of fiction and textbook content to purchase at launch.
Meanwhile Apple have also developed a new iWork suite for the iPad, with three new apps: Numbers (spreadsheet), Keynote (presentations) and Pages (word processor) which will each be available for $9.99. All have been specially reworked for the iPad’s 1GHz processor and to suit its UI, and support presentation animations and transitions, spreadsheet graphs and tables, and in-app image editing.
Apple have pushed out a new version of the iPhone SDK today, with support for the iPad – and a simulator – in the hope that developers will jump on board. However all of the original iPhone apps will run on the tablet, either at their standard resolution in the center of the display or at 2x zoom resolution for full-screen use. The App Store is available on the iPad, obviously, and iPad-specific titles will be prioritized. There’s still no support for multitasking, however.
There will be three versions of iPad, a 16GB model for $499, a 32GB model for $599 and a 64GB model for $699. Adding 3G will be $130 on top of that (the 3G models won’t ship for 90 days or so), and Apple will offer two data plans – $14.99 for 250MB or $29.99 for unlimited data – which will be pre-paid, managed from the iPad itself and contract-free. As with the iPhone 3GS, Apple have partnered with AT&T for their data service, and subscribers will also get unlimited AT&T WiFi hotspot access included. The 3G modem itself will be unlocked and use a GSM “micro-SIM” for international use, which could present issues as relatively few carriers currently offer them; official international data plans are expected to be finalized in the June/July timeframe.
Apple iPad detail hands-on demo:
Update: Check out our hands-on gallery and video with the iPad!
Apple Launches iPad
Magical & Revolutionary Device at an Unbelievable Price
SAN FRANCISCO—January 27, 2010—Apple® today introduced iPad, 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. iPad’s responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch™ display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds— thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook. iPad includes 12 new innovative apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting at the breakthrough price of just $499.
“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”
iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad in any direction. The precise Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the web on iPad an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. Reading and sending email is fun and easy on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard. Import photos from a Mac®, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD or flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection.
iPad runs almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for your iPhone® or iPod touch®. The iTunes® Store gives you access to the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 11 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 8,000 films including over 2,000 in stunning high definition video. Apple also announced the new iBooks app for iPad, which includes Apple’s new iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device. The iBookstore will feature books from major and independent publishers.
Apple also introduced a new version of iWork® for iPad, the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers® you can create beautifully formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each.
iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable, so you can sync all of your contacts, photos, music, movies, TV shows, applications and more from your Mac or PC. All the apps and content you download on iPad from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your computer.
iPad’s brilliant 9.7-inch, LED-backlit display features IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear images and consistent color with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle. The highly precise, capacitive Multi-Touch display is amazingly accurate and responsive whether scrolling web pages or playing games. The intelligent soft keyboard pioneered on iPhone takes advantage of iPad’s larger display to offer an almost full-size soft keyboard. iPad also connects to the new iPad Keyboard Dock with a full-size traditional keyboard.
iPad is powered by A4, Apple’s next-generation system-on-a-chip. Designed by Apple, the new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours.* Apple’s advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan.**
iPad comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple and AT&T announced breakthrough 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad with easy, on-device activation and management.
Continuing Apple’s dedication to designing and creating environmentally responsible products, each iPad enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iPad contains no brominated flame retardants and is completely PVC-free.
Apple today released a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPad, so developers can create amazing new applications designed to take advantage of iPad’s capabilities. The SDK includes a simulator that lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
Pricing & Availability
iPad will be available in late March worldwide for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. International pricing and worldwide availability will be announced at a later date. iBookstore will be available in the US at launch.
*Apple tested wireless battery life by browsing web pages and receiving email over an AirPort® network, never letting the system go to sleep during the test, and keeping the display at half brightness. This is a typical scenario of use on the go, resulting in a battery performance number that is very relevant to mobile users.
**A properly maintained iPad battery is designed to retain 80 percent or more of its original capacity during a lifespan of up to 1,000 recharge cycles. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.