The iPad – everything it was tipped to be

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.

Steve Jobs and the iPad
Steve Jobs and the iPad

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.

Personalised newspapers

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.

NZ debut?

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


  1. Peter Griffin

    Robert, Ken – looks like no USB port and no flash card slots either. There will be adapters that work via the dock connector, but I think Apple envisages people either syncing it with iTunes to transfer content or doing it over wifi. A USB 2 port would have been nice!

  2. Peter Griffin

    I reckon the mobile element is crucial Ken – it means two things – you don’t have to be in range of wifi to download fresh content and content providers can partner with th e mobile operator to clip the ticket on content subscriptions ie: the cost of the Herald is bundled in with your Vodafone subscription and the publisher and mobile operator split the revenue. It is potentially a way to sort out the fact that the digital publishing model isn’t working financially. But mainly it is just very convenient for consumers.

  3. Ken Perrott

    What possible advantage can the 3G service have?

    I ask that as a person who doesn’t use cell phones a lot. I have one for emergencies – and of course when the emergency comes the battery is flat or I have forgotten how to make a call.

    I would have thought wifi would be sufficient.

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