The Wall Street Journal noted: “The last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it.” Steve Jobs definitely won’t repeat the success of the first tablet; whether he will even repeat the success of the iPhone remains to be seen:
Apple has finally launched its long-awaited portable computer, the iPad. And one more thing: the full version, if it becomes available to Canadians at all, may cost a lot to use.
Chief executive Steve Jobs announced the device — basically a supersized iPod Touch — on Wednesday to a crowd of Apple faithful at an event in San Francisco. The iPad is about the size of a hardcover book, half an inch thick and with a 9.7-inch multi-touch screen, similar to the iPod Touch and iPhone. The device can surf the web using its Safari browser, send emails via an on-screen QWERTY keypad, play music, videos and games, and display e-books.
“We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a magical and revolutionary product today,” Jobs said to a cheering audience.
He said the device has several wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and some models will have 3G cellular capability. In the United States, iPad buyers will be able to get a data plan that allows for 250 MB of data usage for $14.99 US, or $29.99 for unlimited usage.
Jobs called the deal with AT&T a “breakthrough” as most U.S. cellphone carriers charge around $60 a month for unlimited data usage. In Canada, cellphone carriers typically charge around $60 (Cdn) for about 3 GB of usage while unlimited plans are rare.
Apple has not yet reached deals with cellphone carriers internationally, which includes Canada, but hopes to be able to announce plans in other countries by June or July.
The 16 GB device without 3G will cost $499 US, ranging up to the full 3G-enabled 64 GB version for $829. The Wi-Fi-only versions will go on sale worldwide in 60 days, Jobs said, with the 3G versions being released in the United States and “selected countries” a month after that, which may or may not include Canada.
The device can run all iPhone apps and boasts up to 10 hours of video battery life.
I doubt that non-nerd people will be prepared to pay over $500 for an “incredible web browsing experience” and with only 10 hours of battery life and an LCD screen, it is not going compete well with dedicated book readers with paper-like e-ink and a battery that will run for 2 weeks.
It runs the iPhone OS which probably means no effective multitasking and no application access to many kernel functions: for example, an application will be unable to set an alarm to wake the device up.
Still, when it first appeared, I didn’t think the iPod touch would work as a PDA either – once Laridian released Pocket Bible for it, though, I bought one and haven’t touched my Palm TX since.