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Steve Jobs Debuts Apple iPad (Updated: Starting at $499)

Finally capping years of rumors and the craziest month of pre-announcement hype we've ever seen, Steve Jobs announced the iPad this afternoon. Jobs prepared for the announcement by explaining that a space exists between smartphones and full laptops, quick to argue that netbooks "aren't really better at anything."

The 1.5-pound device looks to be running iPhone OS 3.2, with new apps taking full advantage of the larger 9.7-inch IPS screen. The hardware itself looks like a blown-out iPhone with a huge bezel surrounding the capacitive screen (read: full multitouch). iTunes, for example, seems to be styled in a way somewhere between the iPhone version and the full OS X app. Similarly, the mobile Mail app displays e-mail subjects and excerpts in a list, while showing the full text in a larger pane.

Apple iPad



As far as apps are concerned, the iPad will support all of those currently offered at the App Store. In addition, Apple is introducing a toolkit that will allow developers to take full advantage of the larger screen and improved hardware.

iPad Apps


Availability

The iPad will begin shipping to U.S. locations in 60 days, and will be available worldwide at a later, unspecified date. Jobs explained it will take at least 30 days for the 3G models to get through the approval process.

Accessories

Jobs showed off several Apple accessories. First up is a charging dock, similar to what you'll see with the iPhone. Next is a keyboard dock, bringing traditional typing to the iPad. Last, Apple is offering a case that will allow iPad to be propped up on its side for movie viewing.

iPad Features & Accessories


Pricing

The iPod touch-esque iPad (i.e. no cellular connectivity), starts at $499:
  • 16GB - $499
  • 32GB - $599
  • 64GB - $699

The 3G models, running on AT&T's network, will cost significantly more, as a result of the cellular technology:
  • 3G 16GB - $629
  • 3G 32GB - $729
  • 3G 64GB - $829
As far as data plans go, $14.99 will get you a paltry 250MB of data, while $29.99 will get you unlimited data.

Relive the keynote itself with the official Apple video.

Hands On

Video from our friends at Engadget:

For more, check out our post keynote roundup.

Tags: apple, breaking news, BreakingNews, ipad, top