We can all start to breathe again! Apple has finally made their long awaited, highly anticipated, rumor generating product announcement. And it’s the “iPad” . Now we can move past criticizing Apple for what it might be making, and move on to criticizing Apple for what it did make.
But let’s not be so quick in our criticism. Sure, Apple fanboys will be all over the iPad, heaping it with great praise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple got it wrong. In fact, there looks to be a lot to like in Apple’s new, little bundle of joy. It’s of reasonable size, sporting a 9.7-inch touchscreen, is a half-an-inch thick, and weights a modest 1.5 pounds. It works on the same software as the iPhone and iPod Touch --both of which have curried favor with users, and which makes the iPad immediately useable. (Developers are going to like this as well, because it won’t require much adjustment, and broadens the market potential of their products.) And it runs on an Apple designed chip, the 1GHz A4 processor, which not only provides punch, but conserves battery life.
Better yet, Apple is offering the iPad at different price-points, rather than in a take-it-or-leave-it bundle (like the Kindle). Configurations will be either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi/3G, and offer different storage capacities: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. Price for the entry-level iPad is $499, while the top-of-the-line will cost $829.
And Apple looks to have learned some lessons from the iPhone. Data services will be provided by AT&T, on a pre-paid basis. The price for a 250MB data allowance will be $14.99 a month, while unlimited use will cost $29.99 per month. Unlike the iPhone, the iPad will have a swappable GSM micro SIM card, so iPad users can easily switch carriers.
In the announcement, Apple wanted to defuse expectations a bit. The iPad isn’t going to be the ‘device of the century’ that some had speculated. Rather, Steve Jobs made it clear the iPad was a niche product, good for web surfing, email, viewing photos, listening to music, watching videos, playing games, or reading eBooks. (A big brother of the iPod Touch, if you will.) If you want something more, says Jobs, by a computer.
If there's more you want to know please join our cousins at MacLife for the iPad feeding frenzy.
Image Credit: Apple