Following months of speculation Apple CEO Steve Jobs today confirmed rumours that the company has been working on a mobile tablet PC.
Dubbed the iPad it is set to occupy the market segment between mobile phones and netbooks, allowing users to browse the internet, access email access images, video, music games and eBooks.
According to Jobs the device will be “so much more intimate than a laptop, [is] so much more capable than a smartphone” and will offer “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had”.
The iPad will feature a touchscreen interface with virtual keyboard and multitouch, iTunes support and a Google Maps application featuring Street View. The device is also capable of high definition video and movie playback.
In addition it features a 9.7 inch capacitive IPS display, will run on Apple’s newly developed 1GHz A4 processor and will offer 802.11n wireless connectivity, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR. The iPad will also offer up to ten hours of battery life with active use, an accelerometer, compass, speaker, microphone and 30 pin connector.
Consumers will have a choice between 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of flash solid state storage.
With regards to gaming the iPad will have access to the Apple App store from which buyers will be able to download games which will be largely controlled via the devices accelerometer. Confirmed developers include EA, which gave a demonstration of recently released racing title Need for Speed: Shift on the device. Jobs also confirmed that third party applications would be available for the iPad.
“We’re really excited about the possibilities for developers on the iPad. About 2 weeks ago we invited some developers to Apple to give them a sneak peek and see what they can build in just a couple weeks” commented an Apple representative during a demonstration.
Jobs also revealed that Apple has been working on an eBook portal entitled iBooks; iPad owners will be able to use this online interface to browse and purchase digital books for the device. In addition the iPad will feature a modified UI (user interface) of Apple’s iWork which will include a new version of Keynote which will allow users to create documents and presentations on the iPad.
It was also confirmed that iPads featuring 3G connectivity will not be network locked and will use GSM micro SIMs. “If your carrier uses micro-SIMs, there’s a very high likelihood it’ll just work.” added Jobs.
With regards to international pricing points Jobs commented that “We want to put this in the hands of LOTS of people. Just like we were able to meet or exceed our technical goals, we’ve met our cost goals.”. As a result it will be priced at $499 (roughly R3800) for the 16GB base model.
Internationally the iPad will begin shipping in 60 days.
The full iPad price list is:
- iPad 16GB with WiFi – $499 (R3800)
- iPad 16GB with WiFi and 3G -$629 (R4700)
- iPad 32GB with WiFi -$599 (R4500)
- iPad 32GB with WiFi and 3G – $729 (R5500)
- iPad 64GB with WiFi – $699 (R5300)
- iPad 64GB with WiFi and 3G – $829 (R6300)
Apple iPad revealed – Discussion