Apple CEO unveils new tablet computer - the 'iPad'

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled a new touchscreen tablet computer on Wednesday dubbed the “iPad,” seeking to carve out a niche between the laptop and the smartphone.

By (AFP)

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2010, 11:23 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:47 AM

Facts and Figures about Apple iPad

  • 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
“We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical and revolutionary product,” said Jobs, who underwent a liver transplant last year and was making just his second public appearance since September.

The long-awaited iPad has a 9.7-inch (24.6-cm) color screen and resembles an oversized iPod Touch or iPhone. It is 0.5 inches (1.3-cm) thick, weighs 1.5 pounds (0.7 kilograms) and comes with 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes of flash memory.

The cheapest iPad model, with 16G of memory, is 499 dollars while the most expensive — which includes 3G wireless connectivity and 64G of memory — costs 829 dollars.

Apple said it would start shipping the iPad, which features a virtual touchscreen keyboard, within 60 days, making them available worldwide in late March.

Dressed in his trademark blue jeans and black turtleneck, Jobs demonstrated some of the features of the iPad, which include browsing the Internet, playing games, listening to music from iTunes and watching high-definition video.

Jobs, who appeared thin but healthy, said Apple was launching an online “iBookstore” for the iPad and touted its abilities as an electronic reader of books, newspapers and magazines.

“You can have black-and-white, color, video in your books — whatever the author wants,” he said. “We think the iPad is going to make a terrific e-book reader, not just for popular books but for textbooks as well.”

“We’ve got five of the biggest publishers in the world supporting us and will open the floodgates for the rest of the publishers starting this afternoon,” Jobs said.

Some technology analysts expect the iPad to pose a challenge to other e-readers on the market and Jobs made a reference to the e-reader market leader, Amazon’s Kindle.

“Amazon has done a great job of pioneering this functionality with the Kindle,” he said. “We are going to stand on their shoulders.”

Apple said that besides serving as an e-reader, the iPad runs most of the popular applications for the iPod and iPhone which are available through Apple’s App Store.

Jobs said he expected the new iPad will successfully carve out a place between the laptop computer and the smartphone.

“Do we have what it takes to establish a third category of products in between a laptop and a smartphone?” he asked. “The bar is pretty high. We think we’ve done it.”

Jobs said the iPad is “so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smartphone.”

He said it has about 10 hours of battery life. “I can take a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo and watch video the whole way on one charge,” Jobs said.

The iPad is Apple’s first major product release since it came out with the iPhone three years ago.

Apple shares were trading 1.78 percent higher at 209.61 dollars on Wall Street at 2000 GMT.

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