It's finally over ... and it's just beginning! Apple has introduced the iPad to the world, ending a long-drawn-out development phase fraught with rumor and speculation. Today -- like, just now -- the iPad made its stage debut at Apple's "Latest Creation" event in San Francisco.
Quite the production, er, introduction, eh? Here's what we know right off the bat, courtesy of Steve Jobs:
- "It's very thin -- you can change the homescreen to whatever you want"
- "You can browse the web with it"
- "Phenomenal for mail"
- "Album, photos ... you can look at all of them, flick through them, it's a wonderful way to share. Calendar ... months ..."
- "We have the iTunes store built right in. YouTube and YouTube in HD"
- "And it's awesome to watch movies and TV"
- "Even bigger than the DSi XL" (okay, so Steve didn't say that -- we did!)
Some additional specs: 0.5-inches thin; 1.5 pounds; 9.7-inch IPS display; multi-touch; powered by 1GHz Apple A4 chip; available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models; Bluetooth 2.1 plus EDR and 802.11n WiFi; speakers, mic and 30-pin connector; syncs over USB; and up to 10-hour battery life. First-party accessories include a standard dock (think: picture-frame mode), a keyboard dock and a case.
As for pricing, the 16GB model is $499 (or $629 with 3G compatibility); or 32GB for $599 ($729 with 3G); or 64GB for $699 ($829 with 3G). 3G-compatible models have an option between two data plans through AT&T: 250MB of data per month for $14.99 or unlimted data per month for $29.99. The data plans are prepaid and activated directly on the iPad -- there's no contract (so you can cancel anytime). WiFi models ship in 60 days (late March); 3G units in 90 (late April).