To no one’s great surprise, Apple unveiled a new product at a special
event in San Francisco today: the iPad. Yep, that’s the name Apple is
going with, not the rumored iTablet or iSlate monikers.

Apple says the device is for browsing the web, reading and sending
email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing
games, reading e-books and much more. iPad’s Multi-Touch display lets
users physically interact with applications and content.

The iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds —
thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook, according to Apple
CEO Steve Jobs. The device includes 12 new apps designed especially
for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the
Apple App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting US$499.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary
device at an unbelievable price,” says Jobs. “iPad creates and
defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users
with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and
fun way than ever before.”

iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app
works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between
views as the user rotates iPad in any direction. The precise
Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the web on iPad an entirely new
experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a
computer, Jobs says. Reading and sending email is possible on iPad’s
large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard.

You can import photos from a Mac, PC or digital camera, see them
organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s
slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD or flip
through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore
while listening to your music collection.

iPad runs almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store,
including apps already purchased for your iPhone or iPod touch. The
iTunes Store offers access to over 11 million songs, over 50,000 TV
episodes and over 8,000 films including over 2,000 in high definition

Apple also announced the new iBooks app for iPad, which includes
Apple’s new iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on
a mobile device. The iBookstore will feature books from major and
independent publishers.

Apple also introduced a new version of iWork for iPad, which the
company says is the first desktop-class productivity suite designed
specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages, Keynote and Numbers you can
create formatted documents, presentations with animations and
transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas.
The three apps will be available separately through the App Store for
$9.99 each.

iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the
standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable, so you can sync all of your
contacts, photos, music, movies, TV shows, applications and more from
your Mac or PC. All the apps and content you download on iPad from
the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically
synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your

iPad’s 9.7-inch, LED-backlit display features IPS technology to
deliver crisp, clear images and consistent color with an 178 degree
viewing angle. The intelligent soft keyboard pioneered on iPhone
takes advantage of iPad’s larger display to offer an almost full-size
soft keyboard. iPad also connects to the new iPad Keyboard Dock with
a full-size traditional keyboard.

iPad is powered by A4, Apple’s next-generation system-on-a-chip.
Designed by Apple, the new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and
graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours.
Apple’s advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology
purportedly deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant
decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan.

iPad comes in two versions — one with Wi-Fi and the other with both
Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G
versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple and
AT&T announced 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad with on-device
activation and management.

Each iPad enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes
standard with energy-efficient LED-backlit displays that are
mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iPad contains no
brominated flame retardants and is completely PVC-free.

What’s more, Apple has released a new Software Development Kit (SDK)
for iPad, so developers can create new applications designed to take
advantage of iPad’s capabilities. The SDK includes a simulator that
lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also
lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad,
iPhone and iPod touch.

iPad will be available in late March worldwide for a suggested retail
price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 (US)
for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available
in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail
price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829
for the 64GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple
Store (, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple
Authorized Resellers. International pricing and worldwide
availability will be announced at a later date. iBookstore will be
available in the US at launch.