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It's official: Jobs announces Apple's iPad

Agam Shah | Jan. 28, 2010
Apple looks to muscle in on the burgeoning interest in tablet devices.

Electronic Arts also displayed a PC-like version of the game "Need For Speed" on the iPad. During the demonstration, Travis Boatman of Electronic Arts said that the device is powerful for high-quality gaming applications with its support for OpenGL ES.

Meanwhile, all iPhone apps will work on the iPad, Apple officials said at the event.

An iBooks application allows users to browse an iBook Store with content from five top publishers including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Penguin.

Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of product marketing, was on hand to show off a productivity app called iWork, which among other features can display presentations through a Keynote application, allowing users to change the size of images and documents by using a finger to drag and drop objects. iWork also includes a spreadsheet app called Numbers.

In Numbers, users can tap to move columns in tables, or add rows of data by double tapping. Numeric data entry includes special numbers keyboards, including a formulas and functions keyboard. Users can also use the Pages application to write word-processing documents.

"We want to put this in the hands of lots of people," Jobs said, adding that "we have met our cost goals...the iPad pricing starts not at $999, but at $499."

Prices start at $499 for the 16GB model to $699 for the 64GB model. The device will also carry 3G mobile broadband technology for users to connect to the Internet. The mobile broadband versions will be priced at $629 for a 3G 16GB model; $729 for a 3G 32GB model; and $829 for a 3G 64GB model.

"Our most advanced an unbelievable price," Jobs said.

AT&T in the U.S. will provide 3G service for the device in a "breakthrough deal", Jobs said. A 250MB data plan will cost $14.99 per month, and an unlimited plan will cost $29.99. There will be no contract attached to the data deals and the service can be canceled anytime, Jobs said. International deals for 3G services should be in place by June or July, Jobs said.

The $499 price point for 16GB leaves open questions about how palatable the iPad will be at retail, said John Jackson, vice president of research at CCS Insight, during the event. The price may be higher than the market would like, he said. Though the 3G data deal is good, it leaves questions whether the $130 increment on 3G devices are worth the price of the device for customers, he said. Apple is perhaps betting the device will be mostly used on Wi-Fi networks.

Apple is also targeting the engine with this device, Jackson said. Amazon offers a Kindle e-reader and stores where e-books and music can be downloaded.


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