Most of the rumours proved to be true, testament I suppose to how hard it is for a company of Apple’s stature to develop a product secrectly in a world as inter-connected as ours.
Here’s the spec sheet for the new Apple iPad:
- 9.7 inch IPS display
- 0.5 inches thin
- 1.5 pounds
- Full capacitive multi-touch interface
- 16-64GB of Flash memory storage
- 1 GHz Apple-branded A4 chip (developed in-house)
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- 802.11n WiFi
- Built-in Speaker
- Built-in Microphone
- Accelerometer & Compass
- 30-pin Dock connector (same as iPod and iPhone)
- 10-hours of battery life (Over one month standby time)
- Runs all iPhone apps
- App Store application included
- 3G access for premium versions
Apple’s Kindle rival, the media’s saviour?
As expected, the iPad is a device that will display books, magazines and newspapers and as such appears to be a hi-tech, high-resolution version of Amazon’s best-selling gadget, the Kindle – with the ability to play up to 10 hours of video between charges.
It was telling that one of the partners on-hand to help launch the iPad was the New York Times, which is already partnering with Amazon to deliver a version of the paper to the Kindle for subscribers and which has already developed a rather nice iPhone application.
The tablet, as expected opens a world of opportunity for tech-savvy media companies to redesign their newspapers and magazines for the iPad – plenty of developers have been working on applications for the App Store, so there is a good base of expertise in this area, even here in New Zealand.
The interesting aspect of the iPad however is that, like the Kindle, versions of it have a mobile chip built into them. Wifi or cable will be the methods for syncing the tablet and transferring content for the basic model, but a deal with Apple’s old mobile partner, AT&T means those going for the premium model can update their iPad via a 3G mobile service.
Not only does that offer huge convenience to users, it offers an access gateway for content providers that ensures only paying customers get through – a potential answer it would seem to the problem of eroding sales for the media industry as people access content online for free.
Negotiating international rights for the iBook service could take a while as these things are complicated. Amazon recently missed out New Zealand when it went global with the Kindle. Vodafone would be the default partner to supply mobile access when the iPad does get here. Based on US pricing however, the iPad won’t be cheap here coming in well above the price range for netbooks, with the base model likely starting at the $1000 mark.
The iPod touch-esque iPad starts at $499:
- 16GB – $499 (US)
- 32GB – $599
- 64GB – $699
The 3G models, running on AT&T’s network, will cost significantly more, due to the mobile chip:
- 3G 16GB – $629
- 3G 32GB – $729
- 3G 64GB – $829