This morning (10:00 US PST) Steve Jobs introduced the Apple iPad to the highly anticipated crowd at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center. The specifications on the device are:

  • Display: 9.56 inches (242.8 mm) IPS display
  • Width: 7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • 16, 32, or 64 GB solid state hard drives
  • Processor: 1 GHz Apple A4 chip
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11n
  • Battery: 10 hours, over 1 month standby
  • Other features: Speaker, Microphone, 30-pin connector, Accelerometer and compass

WiFi version:

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

WiFi + 3G version:

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
  • UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz)
Price/Models 16GB 32GB 64GB
WiFi USD499.00 USD599.00 USD699.00
WiFi + 3G USD629.00 USD729.00 USD829.00

The versions with the WiFi and 3G radios will be available in 90 days (some time in May 2010). I believe for this device to live up to its full potential, the 3G capable version is the one to get.

Of course you can save USD130 and go with your carrier's HSPA modem/WiFi hotspot solution. Many of the carriers offering such a device will give away the device for free in exchange for a 3G data tariff plan; which you will need for the 3G enabled iPad. Alternatively, you can purchase a HSPA modem/WiFi hotspot, like the MiFi, but that will cost you around USD3xx.00. As with all mobile device, I personally will be happy with the 16GB version of the device. So I will start saving my USD629.00 (HKD4,891.48).

Strangely in the list of languages the iPad supports, Traditional Chinese is not one of them

  • Language support

    for English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian

  • Keyboard support

    for English (US) English (UK), French (France, Canada), German, Japanese (QWERTY), Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese (Handwriting and Pinyin), Russian

  • Dictionary support

    for English (US), English (UK), French, French (Canadian), French (Swiss), German, Japanese, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese (Handwriting, Pinyin), Russian

I personally does not like the name "iPad", I prefers the "Mac Slate". The one thing Apple did right was to enable all the existing iPhone's 140,000 applications in the iTunes Store to run on the iPad.

With the new iPad, Apple also released a keyboard stand for the iPad.

Along with iPad, Apple also introduced a new iBookstore within iTunes. It currently has 5 publishers (Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Hachette Book Group)  supporting it and more coming.

Apple released a new iWork designed for the iPad touch interface. I wonder how much of the features of the new iWork will be transferred to the Mac version of iWork.

Overall this is another device that most likely will shaken the "netbook", "tablet" and "eBook/eReader" markets. Although, Apple say that the iPad runs all the iPhone application, but looking at the Apple developed iPad applications: iWork, Email, Photos, etc., the iPad SDK has way more capabilities and flexibilities for the developer to create applications that deliver a fully immersed experience so that the end-user does not feel like they are using a computer but an interactive device.

Now, I can't way to see how iPhone 4.0 and the upcoming iPhone will change, given what Apple has introduced in the iPad. Definitely an exciting 2010 for Apple fans worldwide.

Here is a link to Apple's promotion video for the iPad.

[Updated: February 28, 2010, 12:00] Apple has made the keynote presentation launching the iPad available on their web site.

A comprehensive guide to the iPad produced by Mashable.

[Updated: February, 28, 2010, 15:00] Reactions and editorials from staff at Engadget.

Several opinions about the iPad on Mashable:

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesiPad

It appears that various media like: EngadgetArs Technica, FoxNews, have now received the official invitation from Apple for the event on January 27, 2010 at 10:00 (US PST) held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Fox News even went as far as reporting that they have confirmation of the topics that will be presented by Apple. These being the new tablet, iPhone OS 4.0 and a new version of iLife.

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-

Over the years there has been a lot of rumors on the soon to release Apple Tablet "Thingy", which I will call "Mac Slate". These rumors and mockups are mostly based on leaked information from existing Apple suppliers and manufactures in China and Taiwan. They are interpretations without any explicit information from Apple themselves, as Apple will not comment on any unannounced products. Therefore, in an effort to collect my opions on the subject, I like to add my educated speculations on this soon to arrive Mac Slate.

First let us look at Apple's past achievements, we see that Apple did not invent the MP3 player, but transformed and redefined it with the release of the iPod, iTunes Music Store and iTunes. Apple did it again when they entered the mobile smartphone market with the iPhone and the iTunes App Store.

In both cases Apple did not invent the market or the devices used. On both occasions the industries were well established with significant leaders. This did not matter to Apple and when Apple launched their offerings they shook the market and their respective industry leaders.

I truely believe Apple will do the same with the Mac Slate. The difference this time is that Apple will shake four different industries: Media Player, eBook, Netbook and book publishing industries.

I believe the Mac Slate will position itself among the Macintosh computer, iPhone and AppleTV, becoming the hub for content resides in the cloud, the Macintosh computer and Apple TV. May be it will utilize the iPhone's communication capabilities to make video and voice calls.

Some people believe that the Mac Slate will have all the modern wireless radios: WiFi, HSDPA, Bluetooth, WiBro, etc., but I think it will only have a WiFi and Bluetooth radios. This is so that Apple can keep the cost of the Mac Slate down. Since Apple has products in the price ranges:

  • iPhone/iPod Touch/AppleTV: USD100 - USD400 range
  • Mac Mini: USD600 - USD800 range
  • MacBook/MacBook Pro/MacBook Air: USD1000 - USD2500 range
  • Mac Pro: USD2500 - USD3300

This gives Apple a price range of USD600 - USD800 for the Mac Slate, which is higher than the Amazon Kindle (USD280 - USD490), but the Mac Slate will be much more than just an eBook. I believe it will have a large enough screen to make reading books, magazines and newspapers a joy. Incorporating what Apple had learned from the iPhone UX, it should make purchasing books and getting electronic documents onto the Mac Slate very simple.

Speaking of content, there was a rumor that truck loads of books were delivered to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, so iTunes Store may begin to expand its collection very soon. Additional to the content that already exist in the iTunes Store, the Mac Slate will be able to receive streamed content from the cloud; hopefully from services like Hulu and alike.

Had you ever wanted to know more about the movie you're watching, the characters in the movie or subject matter in the plot, the Mac Slate will be able to do so by recognizing the content being consumed via iTunes or AppleTV. It will intelligently bring up relevant content from the Internet pertaining to the content in question, whether it is from AppleTV, iTunes or on the Mac Slate itself.

The OS should be based on OS X, as on the Macintosh and the iPhone/iPod Touch. It should incorporate multi-touch capabilities that are already on the Mac notebook's track pads and the iPhone/iPod Touch. The OS will not be the same as the current iPhone/iPod Touch OS but will be a variant, which later will transform into the Touch OS for all three devices. I do not believe there will be a physical keyboard and just a virtual one, but hopefully Apple will support the full Bluetooth suite so an external keyboard can be paired to the Mac Slate for users who like to use a physical keyboard or mouse.

Transitioning from a Macintosh computer or the iPhone/iPod Touch to the Mac Slate will be seamless. The data on the Mac Slate will be synchronized across devices ensuring the user will have the latest versions of the data s/he needs when they are operating the Mac Slate.

The Mac Slate will utilize SSD rather than HDD for internal storage. It will have a minimum of 4GB of RAM, and the internal storage, RAM and battery will all be upgradable but it will require removing the back cover like in the current MacBook Pro design.

Of course, all these are my educated guess of the Mac Slate. I do not claim to have any in side information from any Apple sources for the above. I have two certainties: Apple will release the Mac Slate, Apple will again transform and redefines the industry that the Mac Slate appears in.

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-

Apple Tablet ConceptFor the past 8 years and may be as far back as the Apple Newton days, many including myself had speculated about Apple releasing a tablet computing/media device. This device will not be a replacement of your notebook computer but to supplement the PC you already own.

Ever since the introduction of the iPhone and the mobile version of OS X, I had imagined Apple releasing something that sits as a conduet among the Apple TV, iPhone and the Macintosh PC.

This device will act as a remote interface to the Apple TV, able to bring up detials about the show or movie (ie. the type of content available from IMDB.com) you are watching. Able to receive and make calls via the iPhone, or conduct video conference. Able to leveravge the computing power of the Mac if one is available, to perform any computing that is too resource intensive for the Apple Media Tablet. You can imagine it being the view into the personal cloud created by the connected devices on the network.

Here are some of the recent events that may support the idea of such an Apple Media Tablet..

March 11, 2009 It was reported that Apple had purchased a large quantities of 10" touch screens.

April 16, 2009 Microsoft is rumored to announce a Zune HD that does video, has the capabilty to surf the Internet, and play XBox games.

May 6, 2009 Amazon surprised everyone by announcing the Kindle DX weeks after the released of an improved version of its first generation Kindle reader. This new Kindle is much larger and has standard WiFi connectivity. At the time of announcement it had agreements from several international newspapers for making digital subscription of the respective newspaper available through the Kindle. The Kindle DX will not be available until the "Summer", but Amazon is currently accepting orders. May be the reason Amazon rushed the Kindle DX announcement, even though it will most likely hurt the Kindle 2 sales, is because Amazon was worry that Apple will release or announce their Media Tablet during WWDC the second week of June.

May 11, 2009 Apple released a new version of the OS X version 10.6 beta with Chinese handwriting input for multi touch devices. Since the iPhone already has Chinese handwriting input, this so called multi touch device that runs OS X 10.6 must be a new device that we have yet to see. Since Chinese handwriting input is already available on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

May 12, 2009 Palm is rumored to release the highly anticipated Palm Pre in June, and precisely June 7th. I think Palm should have waited after WWDC to do their annoucement and product release, so it can give the media and analysts time to absorb any potential Apple announcements, before comparing the Palm Pre to anything that Apple has.

Apple's COO said that the netbook market is something they will watch, they believe the current form factor is too "cheap" for Apple to enter. And they have some exciting ideas about this area. Remember the Portable Audio Player (MP3 player), the concept was not invented by Apple nor was Apple the first to release a MP3 player. With the introduction of the iPod Apple was able to own and dominate the market.

Before Apple entered the mobile phone market. Mobile phone manufactures were sticking to the status quo and consumers were happy buying these mediocure devices. That was only because no one had shown the consumer what is possible. Apple did that with the iPhone and the consumers became more demanding.

I am not saying that the aforementioned Apple Media Tablet is a netbook, but if and when Apple enters the popular netbook market Apple will do so as a leader. The device will be something no one in the industry had seen before.

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-