Looking dapper in jeans and a black mock turtle-neck, Steve Jobs took the stage today and officially introduced his iPad to the world. As we’ve been seeing and hearing from so many rumors as of late, it appears as if the iPhone got the super-size treatment, complete with a home button.
At only half an inch thin, and sporting a 9.7″ screen, the iPad weighs in at only one and a half pounds. It’s powered by Apple’s very own chip – the A4 – ans “screams” at 1GHz. Available with 16, 32, or 64GB flash storage, and has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. Oh, and you can run it for 10 hours (a month in standby!) while watching videos. Wow! So far, no mention of any cellular carrier connectivity. UPDATE: Carrier details below!
If you’re a current iPhone user, much of the interaction with the iPad looks to be very familiar. For instance, tilting the iPad gives you portrait or landscape viewing — both orientations support a lovely full screen keyboard. It also appears that the app icons on the “home screen” change orientation too.
The software — assumed to be iPhone version 4.0, SDK available now — appears quite familiar, but has been blown-up to support the larger screen. It appears also to allow custom background wallpaper, and sports a very OS X-like dock at the bottom of the screen. And of course, it runs iPhone Apps using “pixel doubling” for full screen mode, or sports a black frame in regular sized mode. As an aside, this looks sick for viewing the likes of New York Times and other ‘print media’ type web content.
We have yet to hear the price, but watch this space and we’ll updated as soon as we know.
UPDATE: We’re now finding out that there will be a 3G-capable version of the iPad, with service from AT&T starting at $14.99 for 250MB per month, and $29.99 for unlimited monthly usage. It’s pre-paid and there is no contract to deal with. International deals are projected to be worked out by June. All 3G models are unlocked, though and will work anywhere globally with new GSM micro SIMs.
As for pricing of the device itself, it starts at $499, which is a very low cost of entry. It will get you the 16GB base model without 3G. $599 will get you the 32GB Wi-Fi only model, and $699 will bump you up to 64GB. With 3G, the prices are $629, $729 and $829 respectively for the different storage capacities.
Shipping will take place within about 90 days for the 3G models, 60 days for those with Wi-Fi only.
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