Apple unveils iPad for March launch

UPDATE: Electronic Arts, Gameloft join San Francisco event to show off games, internet, video, music and eBooks tablet

Apple's Steve Jobs has unveiled the company's much-rumoured tablet device, the Apple iPad, at an event in San Francisco.

Boasting similar features the the iPhone, the device is targeting a space between the smart phone and laptop markets, and will allow users to access web content, play games, music, video and eBooks, as well as browse photos and support multiple applications.

"iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price," said Jobs. "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."

The hardware is 0.5 inches thick and weighs 0.7 kilos. It has a 9.7-inch IPS display with multitouch sensors, a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, 16-64GB of flash storage, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 30-pin connector, speaker, microphone, accelerometer and compass.

Apple claims the iPad will have a 10 hour battery life.

Like the iPhone, the iPad features an accelerometer and keyboard, with users swiping functions, tapping and pinching to manipulate the screen.

Scott Forstall, SVP of iPhone Software joined Jobs on stage to show off software support for the iPad. He said that the device can run almost all of the 140,000 applications currently on the App Store, in either 1:1 pixel in the centre of the screen, or by doubling up to full screen in low resolution with a "2x" button.

Forstall demoed ESPN game Snocross, and said that developers are able to rewrite their games to take advantage of the larger iPad display, with an updated software development kit released today. The SDK also includes an emulator to run iPad apps on the Mac. Applications designed specifically for the iPad will be highlighted in the App Store.

Gameloft reps joined Apple on stage to show off Nova, which featured the ability to move its on-screen D-pad, and use multiple fingers on the touch screen to draw a target around on-screen enemies and attack them simultaneously.

Electronic Arts demoed a version of Need for Speed, with users able to tap inside the on-screen car for a dashboard view, change gears and see the rear-view mirror.

Aside form games, a iBooks app already has support from Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Macmillan.

A 3G version of the iPad in the US will offer 250MB of data month for $15, or unlimited data for $30, through carrier AT&T, with free WiFi access. The 3G service can be activated on the iPad and with no contract can be cancelled at any time. International deals are expected to be in place by June.

The 16GB WiFi iPad will cost $499, the 32GB $599 and the 64GB will retail at $699 in the US. For 3G enabled iPads, prices will be $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB) and $829 (64GB).

WiFi SKUs will be ready to ship in March, with 3G models a month later, said Jobs.

Latest comments (7)

Peter Bond Studying Art & Design, University of Bedfordshire8 years ago
Pretty slick, as i have an ipod touch it seems the logical move for Apple. However, for general all round usage i'd much prefer to be on a PC platform, so i await eagerly for PC tablets/pads with windows 7.
Also, the PC market is much more competitive, meaning lower prices! :)
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 8 years ago
It looks good but I can't really see where the market is unless they have killer software that ships with the iPad. At the moment I think tablet PC sort did what it is supposed to do for this kind of market. At the end of the day if iPad is more of an entertainement unit, it is too big as a handheld and too underpowered for a real console. Then leaving only music, internet and movies, which except for movies, iPad doesn't really have an edge over other MP3 players or even other smartphones. Whether it will suffer the same fate as MacBook Air is still too early to say but Apple really needs to nail a market right from the start with impressive demonstration of its ability.
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Joe Tay Senior Architect - Infra and Ops, Electronic Arts8 years ago
It looks pretty cool but one major question would be will it support flash based game? Will facebook games run on the iPad? It's kind of a dilemma for Apple, do they keep pushing their own platform for games or grow everybody's pie by making the Ipad the most preferred way of accessing the internet.

I'm gonna get one regardless because the mere fact of having a single device for eBook + music + movie + email + simple web browsing at that low price point already got me sold.
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Lucas Seuren Freelance, Only Network8 years ago
This probably is the first time in many years that I'm actually disappointent by an Apple presentation. It looks way too much like an expensive gadget and not a real useful tool. The version of Need for Speed is no different than on the iPhone. If that's the standard for gaming, I wouldn't buy it for the games. The rest of the functions I have on my netbook as well, including the battery life and amount of portability. For quick email I can use my iPhone, as well as for music or quick web browsing if I don't bring my netbook.

So what's the advantage of the iPad? And a better question, why would I pay more than twice what I pay for a decent netbook? The touchscreen?
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Robert Douglas Studying B.A in Game Art and Design, Art Institute of Pittsburgh8 years ago
Not impressed. I really like Apple products, but this is just a giant iPhone. I'm sure there will be accessories to facilitate this, but are you really willing to hang on to this for a full 2 hours to watch a movie? Who wants to type on this while looking down at the very screen you are typing? This isn't a tablet (those died several years ago, relegated now to construction workers and users who really need the handwriting recognition capabilities); this is a simple Slate-like device. Granted a beautiful one at that, but as mentioned above, where is the market for this? With the advent of netbooks (for portable internet anytime w/ GOBI equipped units), and better smartphones (including the iPhone), where is the need for this?

This will sell well being the next gorgeous product from Cupertino, but pretty doesn't mean it has substance. The device would be more functional if it came with a fully running version of OSX, you know, like most tablets actually came with a full copy of Windows XP Tablet PC edition. Being hindered by a limited OS with iTunes and the pre-loaded tools/apps plus the downloaded ones, doesn't scream Tablet Mac to me; unlike a unit running fully functional OSX, or if limited by specs, OSX lite. It's too early to tell, but the biggest thing this will probably do is bring forth competitive products faster to market. Products utilizing Microsoft Surface technology running off of Windows 7. Which by the way, some of the apps for the iPad look very similar to this: [link url=

First to market is what's important I guess, Apple will blaze a trail for devices like this I'm quite certain. How long of a shelf life it will have however, that's a different story...those are my 2 cents. Please no fanboy flame wars, I love my macbook pro as much as my windows 7 laptops.
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Tigran Hovhannisyan Studying Marketing and Organisational Behavior, Macquarie University8 years ago
Imagine, if u connect wireless keyboard/mouse to this and enable multitasking, should become pretty good alternative to any netbook with the reasonable price.
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James Osborn Studying Computer Science Networks, University of Hertfordshire8 years ago
I'll definitely be getting one, a small tablet PC for note-taking with 10 hour battery? Sounds awesome.
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