Apple Unleashes The Game-Changing iPad

Apple has finally unleashed the iPad, it’s newest creation sought to fill the gap between mobile devices and laptops.  While it’s a truly innovative and beautiful device, many speculated features that many had hoped for were missing in action during the event that just wrapped up in San Francisco.  Still, the iPad is set to turn mobile …   Read More

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Apple Unleashes The Game-Changing iPadApple has finally unleashed the iPad, it’s newest creation sought to fill the gap between mobile devices and laptops.  While it’s a truly innovative and beautiful device, many speculated features that many had hoped for were missing in action during the event that just wrapped up in San Francisco.  Still, the iPad is set to turn mobile computing in an entirely different direction, and change the mobile landscape for a long time to come.

Coming in at only .5″ thick, weighing only 1.5 pounds and boasting a 9.7″ IPS high-resolution screen, the iPad packs a punch into a small and elegant package.  Looking like an oversize iPhone, the iPad boasts a similar hardware design, with an aluminum casing similar to Macbooks.   The brains of the device is a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, and comes in 16, 32 or 64GB models ranging in price from $499 for the 16GB version to $699 for the 64GB version.

In terms of connectivity, the iPad features WiFi and integrated 3G.  AT&T was announced as the first partner for Apple in bringing 3G to the iPad, and how they’re doing so is a critical aspect to the future success of the iPad.  A no-contract data-plan can be purchased via AT&T directly from the device, requiring no additional terms, contract extensions or upgrade nonsense for $29.99 per month for unlimited data.  For $14.99 per month, AT&T will allow up to 250 MBs of data- meant for those who do simple web-browsing or just want to download and read ebooks on the device.

3G coverage for the iPad is a critical aspect, and choosing AT&T for connectivity on an already data-strained network could prove troublesome.  Still, it’s a relatively low price for unlimited data- if it’s truly unlimited that is.  Wrapping up the hardware end of things, a camera is not included and no phone-based features were demoed during the event, so it’s safe to say we’ll have to wait for future iterations to see these features.  The iPad itself will start shipping at the end of March, with 3G models shipping a month later at the end of April.  Models equipped with 3G will cost an additional $130, bringing the cost of the base 16GB model with 3G to $629.

In terms of what the iPad doesn’t have, beyond a camera and phone-based features, there was no mention of multitasking, Flash support or notifications- all features that were speculated to be included.  Still, the device packs a punch for the first version- future models will undoubtedly have these and much more features.

In terms of the OS, it’s very iPhone-centric with the same basic interface and gestures.  A key feature is the ability to run any existing iPhone application- essentially giving it access to 140,000+ apps before even being publicly available.  A new iPhone SDK was released today to allow developers to tweak their existing apps for use on the iPad, as well as make sure all future apps are compatible with all of Apple’s mobile devices.

Beyond the App Store and iTunes, which have been “cleaned-up” a tad for use on the iPad, the new device also include Apple’s new “iBook Store,” which allows users to search, preview and purchase ebooks and other digital media directly from the device.  A new version of Apple’s iWork suite will also be available for the iPad, turning into a full-fledge business-oriented device for those who require it.

Of course, with any completely new device like this, the potential for innovation is substantial.  Like the iPhone did for cell phones, the iPad will change mobile computing forever.

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  1. Cotton Comforter Sets

    we need some smaller and energy efficient microprocessors to support mobile computing :’*

  2. Buy iPad Online

    @Steve: Yes, the $500+ price range seemed a little pricey for the iPad to me as well, but that was before I heard of the HP Slate and other tablets in the market. Apparently, HP were planning on starting the Slate at over $1000! But since Apple announced the iPad prices, HP changed their minds and I read their tablet will go for a starting price of $600 to $800. That’s a reasonable price considering that the HP Slate will be much for similar to a laptop than an iPad is to the Macbook.

  3. iPad Canada

    @Mobile User: I think I know where you are coming from, as my brother is also a Mac fan and said the same thing back when Apple announced the iPad. But he is getting one for himself now.. after realizing it may not be a replacement for his Macbook or even his iPhone but it really is a unique gadget truly “game-changing” in terms of the portable gaming, video and web browsing world.

  4. Gabe

    My wife and I love our Kindle but it would definitely be better with color and a larger screen. I would also be nice to use our Kindle for things like RSS feeds.

    I’m curious how well the iPad is expected to run the iPhone apps. I would expect a number of those apps just won’t look right on the iPad due UI design.

    Also, like most things Apple the price is just too high for what it does. I can get a pretty good laptop for the price of a 3G iPad. Toting the iPad around would be easier but does it really have enough functionality for a client meeting? I doubt it (at least for my purposes).

  5. Apfel

    I don’t think it iPad would be game-changing. No Keyboard, no USB, no multitasking. The average user doesn’t need an iPad.

  6. Justin

    “Passive media consumption device,” I would have to agree. With the inclusion of iWork, Apple is betting on some level of productivity, but we’ll have to wait and see how consumers react.

    Full blown OSX would be cool, but I think it goes against the simplistic approach that began with the iPhone and continues with the iPad- though a high-end model with OSX-type features would make sense down the road.

  7. Chris Pine

    I think it’s pretty good for a first gen product.

    Another blogger had an interesting perspective and said that it fills the niche of a “passive media consumption device”. For people who want to lounge on the couch, watch TV and surf the web. It’s not for “productivity”.

    Apple usually takes customer feedback into account and I would imagine the 2nd and 3rd gen will have improvements.

    Perhaps the technology isn’t there yet, but in a couple years we may see a form factor like this with the full OSX experience. Now THAT will be a game changer.

  8. Justin

    Just wait until wireless subsidies come into play. When you can get one for the price of a smartphone, it becomes much more appealing.

  9. Steve

    It’s a difficult price point to make sense for many with other options. You can purchase a decent laptop for the same price and a nice netbook for even less. I like the device but the competition is tough at $500.

  10. Justin

    ALM- When I say “game changer,” I mean it on several specific levels, such as marketing potential, digital media potential and so on. I completely understand those on the other side of the fence as well who simply have no need or want for such a device. When it comes to marketing hype, yes many people get caught up in it, but as we all know, Apple is the king of hype.

  11. Justin

    Mobile User- I agree with you to a point, the iPad falls into a unique niche- one that combines the simplicity and intuitiveness of an iPhone, with a larger screen and processing power of a notebook. While a lot of people will love the iPad, there will undoubtedly be a large portion of users who don’t get the appeal, as with all new technology.

  12. ALM

    So what exactly about this device is a “game changer” again. Do I really need/want a 10″ iPod??? Seems like the classic case of marketing hype overwhelming reality. Lot’s of superlatives, but no answer to the simply question, “why”
    – why is it good
    – why is it better
    – whey do I want this

    Oh ya, it’s cool, the Apple marketing team told me so 🙁

  13. Mobile User

    I am really on the fence with iPad. I have a MacBook Air and love it. The iPad just seems like there really is no niche for it fill. If any one can make a tablet fly off the shelves its Apple, but personally this product just does not have any appeal.

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