Thursday, January 28, 2010

The New Apple iPad

In case you were hibernating yesterday and missed it--meet the new Apple iPad. For weeks now rumors have been circulating about the cool new gizmo. In San Francisco yesterday Apple's Steve Jobs unveiled the product. On this one device you can handle your photos, listen to music, read e-books, do e-mail, browse the Internet, read newspapers and much more. The iPad brings up a keyboard on the screen when you need to type in e-mails, etc. The sensitive multi-touch screen also makes it easy to move from one application to another. You can choose at any time to turn the iPad horizontal or vertical, and the screen images will change with orientation. The iPad will run close to 140,000 apps from the App store. Accessories include a keyboard dock, a stand-alone dock, and a piece that allows you to download photos from your camera.

I'd heard rumors that Apple was partnering with B&N to supply e-books for the iPad. Not so. Jobs said Apple has created its own store: iBooks. Looks very good on the iPad. You view your purchased titles on a bookshelf. Turn the bookshelf around--like walking into a hidden passage in a house--and you enter the iBooks store.

The Bookshelf

On Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in negotiations with publishers to set two basic prices for hardcover bestsellers--$12.99 and $14.99--with fewer titles offered at $9.99. Apple will take a 30% cut of the book price, with the remaining 70% going to the publisher. By the time of the iPad unveiling yesterday, five of the six major publishing conglomerates (missing: Random House) were already on board with Apple. More publishers will be added. (In an apparent counter move to Apple's pending unveiling of the iPad, Amazon recently announced a similar 30/70 split with publishers--although publishers must price the books at $9.99 or below to get the deal.) Price wars, anyone?

Basic iPad stats:

9.7 inch, LED-backlit display
0.5 inches thick
1.5 lbs.

Costs start at $499 for the basic 16 GB version. $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB. (Ship dates: late March 2010.) Add $130 to any version to add 3G. (3G ship date: April 2010.)

Watch the demonstration video.


WordLily said...

Actually, all the models come with wifi; the extra $130 adds 3G. (This per the specs page at the Apple store.)

Mark Young said...

I was hibernating yesterday. Thanks, Brandilyn, for gift-wrapping this news in a nice package for us.

Jess said...

i think apple prices their items way too high. if i ever get one of these, i'm going to stick with the kindle, bc i already have e-books on my computer for the kindle. plus, i like the keyboard on the kindle. why is everything touch screen now? i don't like it. and i don't wish to try any apple products any time soon. i really like just reading paperback books. where's the fun in reading something like it's off a computer? i like the sound of pages turning when i'm reading. haha :)