Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Scenes from the Apple iPad Launch

GDGT's live coverage of Apple's iPad launch was the best I found. Some of the highlights of the introduction:

Steve’s showing it. “It’s very thin. You can change the home screen… what this device does is extraordinary. It’s the best browsing experience you’ve ever had.”

“You can see the whole page in front of you and you can manipulate it with your fingers. You can turn it any way you want — it adjusts however you want it. You can see the whole page — it’s phenomenal. It’s an incredible experience.”

“iPad is an awesome way to enjoy your music collection. And, of course, we have the iTunes store built right into the iPad... "

"Flick through them, it’s a wonderful way to share your photos. Built in a calendar. Address book, great maps app with Google Maps.”

Email with a giant on-screen keyboard: “It’s a dream to type on.”

“That’s a little overview, but there’s nothing like seeing it, so I’d like to show you now. Using this thing is remarkable — it’s so much more intimate than a laptop, and it’s so much more capable than a smartphone.”

Showing movies and TV shows. Widescreen looks a little awkward because the screen is more square than widescreen, but it’s still damned fine.

“Let’s pick another movie I love: Up.” chuckles. “Awesome movie.”

“It’s 0.5-inches thin, weighs just 1.5 pounds. Thinner and lighter than any netbook. 9.7-inch IPS display.”

“As you know, Apple builds the best capacitive multi-touch sensors in the world — married to our great display, it’s super responsive and super precise.”

“iPad is powered by our own custom silicon. Our own chip. It’s called the A4, and it screams.” 1GHz. 16, 32, or 64GB of flash storage. “It’s got the latest in wireless: 802.11n, WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.”

“All the usual suspects: accelerometer, compass, speaker, mic, dock connector. And it’s got battery.”

“What’s the battery life on this remarkable device?” Pauses. “We’ve been able to achieve 10 hours of battery life.” Big applause.

“Isn’t that awesome, these guys only had a couple weeks to work on this stuff. People are going to go crazy. Let me show you another one of our apps we’re excited about. It’s an e-book reader.”

Our new app is called iBooks. “Amazon’s done a great job of pioneering this functionality with the Kindle. We’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a little further.”

10:58AM - Browse TOC, change the font or the font size, all the standard stuff. “And that is iBooks.” Big applause. “We use the ePub format, the most popular open book format in the world, and I’m very excited about this. We think the iPad is going to make a terrific e-book reader not just for popular books, but for textbooks as well.”

Now, something very exciting: iWork.”

11:17AM - Steve’s in review mode: “Email is fantastic. Great for enjoying your music collection. Video is phenomenal. It runs almost all of the 140k apps on the App Store as well as a whole new generation of apps designed specifically for the iPad. And the new iBooks application with the iBooks Store. And the iWork suite of apps.”

11:17AM - “What should we price it at?” Chuckles.

11:18AM - “If you listen to the pundits, we’re going to price at under $1k, which is code for $999. When we set out to develop the iPad, we not only had very ambitious technical goals and user interface goals, but we had a very aggressive price for it.”

11:18AM - “We want to put this in the hands of LOTS of people. Just like we were able to meet or exceed our technical goals, we’ve met our cost goals.”

“I’m thrilled to announce to you that the iPad pricing starts not at $999, but at $499.” Huge applause.

“We will be shipping iPads in 60 days.”

11:20AM - “So $499 / 629, 599 / 729, and 699 / 829.”

11:19AM - Cheering! “At $499 a lot of people can afford an iPad. 16GB is our base model. For 32GB it’s $100 more, and for $100 more than that you get $64GB. The 3G models cost another $130.”

This device is a flat-out winner.

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