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iPad
IPad-01.jpg
An iPad featuring the iBooks application
Manufacturer Apple Inc.
Type Tablet media player/PC
Release date Wi-Fi model: April 3, 2010 (2010-04-03)[1][2]
Wi-Fi + 3G model: April 2010 (2010-04)[3]
Operating system iPhone OS
3.2 (build 7B298g)[4]
Released January 27, 2010; 40 day(s) ago (2010-01-27)
Power Internal rechargeable non-removable 25 wHr lithium-polymer battery;[5] iPod Dock Connector
CPU 1 GHz Apple A4[5][6]
Storage capacity Flash memory
16, 32, and 64 GB[5]
Display 1024 x 768 px, 9.7 in (25 cm), 132 ppi, 3:4 aspect ratio, XGA, LED-backlit IPS LCD display[5]
Input Multi-touch touchscreen display, headset controls, proximity and ambient light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, digital compass
Camera None
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, USB 2.0/Dock connector
Wi-Fi + 3G model also includes: A-GPS, micro-SIM slot, Quad-band GSM 850 900 1800 1900 MHz GPRS/EDGE, Tri-band UMTS 850 1900 2100 MHz HSDPA
Online services iTunes Store, App Store, MobileMe, iBookstore
Dimensions 9.56 in (24.3 cm) (h)
7.47 in (19.0 cm) (w)
0.5 in (1.3 cm) (d)
Weight Wi-Fi model: 1.5 lb (680 g)
Wi-Fi + 3G model: 1.6 lb (730 g)[5]
Related articles iPod touch, iPhone
Website apple.com/ipad

The iPad is a tablet computer developed by Apple Inc. Announced on January 27, 2010, it is designed to create a new device category between a smartphone and a laptop computer.[7] Similar in functionality to a larger and more powerful iPhone or iPod touch, it runs a modified version of the same operating system (iPhone OS).[8] Its applications have been redesigned to take advantage of the larger screen with added functionality similar to their Mac OSX counterparts.[9]

The iPad has a larger 9.7-inch (25 cm) LED backlit multi-touch display with a pixel resolution of 1024x768, 16 to 64 gigabytes (GB) of flash memory, a 1-gigahertz (GHz) Apple A4 processor, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 30-pin dock connector to sync with iTunes and connect wired accessories.[3]

Two models have been announced: one with 802.11n Wi-Fi and one with 802.11n Wi-Fi and 3G (which can connect to HSDPA cellular networks), and Assisted GPS. Both models may be purchased with three different memory capacities.[3]

As Apple's first device to use its iBookstore service and companion iBooks ebook reading application, the iPad has been compared to Amazon's Kindle.[10][11][12]

Contents

History

Apple's development of a tablet computer began with the Newton MessagePad 100, first introduced in 1993. This effort led to the creation of the ARM6 processor core with Acorn Computers. Apple also developed a prototype PowerBook Duo-based tablet computer, the PenLite, but did not sell it to avoid hurting MessagePad sales.[13] Apple released several more Newton-based PDAs, and discontinued the last in the line, the MessagePad 2100, in 1998.

By late 2009, the iPad's release had been rumored for several months with iSlate and iTablet among speculated names.[14] The product was announced on January 27, 2010, at an Apple press conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.[3][15]

Three days later, at the 52nd Grammy Awards, Stephen Colbert used an iPad in announcing the nominees.[16]

Availability

In an e-mail to customers at the time of launch, Apple wrote[17]

Application availability and pricing are subject to change. This device has not yet been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

Starting March 12, customers in the US can pre-order the iPad.[2] The iPad is to go on sale in the US on April 3[2][18] for the Wi-Fi version and at the end of April for the Wi-Fi + 3G version. Consumers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK will be able to buy both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G versions of the iPad in late April.[2][19] The launch date is slightly later than anticipated, as the Wi-Fi model was expected to be released worldwide at the end of March.[20] The Wi-Fi + 3G iPad will be unlocked so it can be used on other mobile carriers that support GSM micro-SIMs.[21] 3G will be provided in the U.S. by AT&T and sold with two prepaid contract-free data plan options: one for unlimited data and the other for 250 MB/month at half the price.[22][23] The plans will be activated on the iPad itself and can be canceled at any time.

Hardware

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, introducing the iPad
Back of the iPad Wi-Fi
The iPad's home screen
Technical specifications[5]
Model Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + 3G
Announce date
January 27, 2010[3]
Release date
3 April 2010[2]
Late April 2010[3]
Color display
4:3 aspect ratio, 9.7 inch (20 cm × 15 cm) IPS LCD with LED backlight
Graphics
1024 × 768 px, 132 ppi, up to 720p video
Processor
1 GHz Apple A4 SoC[6] based on the ARM Cortex-A8[24]
Memory
Flash - 16, 32, or 64 GB
RAM - 512 MB
Wireless
Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Cellular No HSDPA using micro-SIM card tray
GPS No Assisted GPS
Sensors
Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Digital compass
Operating system
iPhone OS 3.2[4]
Battery
Built-in lithium-polymer; 25 W·h
(10 h usage, 140 h music playback,[25] one-month standby)[26]
Weight
1.5 lb (680 g)
1.6 lb (730 g)
Dimensions
9.56 in (24.3 cm) x 7.47 in (19.0 cm) x 0.5 in (1.3 cm)

Input and output

The iPad has a fairly minimalist selection of external ports and it only has a dock connector for general input and output and a 3.5mm headphone jack for plugging in headphones to listen to audio.[5] It also has a speaker and a microphone.[5]

Controls

To control the iPad and the software it runs you mostly use the multi-touch touchscreen display.[5] The iPad also has external buttons for sleep, mute and controlling the volume as well as a button to return to the home screen.[5] It also has an Accelerometer (for motion sensitivity) and a digital magnetic compass.[5]

Optional accessories

Apple will sell several iPad accessories, including:[5]

  • Keyboard Dock with hardware keyboard, 30-pin connector, and audio jack
  • Case which can be used to stand the iPad in various positions
  • Dock with 30-pin connector and audio jack
  • Dock Connector to VGA Adapter for external monitor or projector
  • Camera Connection Kit including a USB Type A connector adapter and an SD card reader, for transferring photos and videos
  • USB Power Adapter with 2A (10W)

Software

Like the iPhone, with which it shares a development environment (iPhone SDK, or software development kit, version 3.2 beta onwards),[4] the iPad will only run software downloaded from Apple's App Store.[27] The iPad will run almost all third-party iPhone applications unmodified (they can be displayed at iPhone size or enlarged to fill the iPad's larger screen);[28] developers can also create new apps or modify existing ones specifically for the iPad's features.[29]

The iPad will come with the following applications: Safari, Mail, Photos, Video, YouTube, iPod, iTunes Store, App Store, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, and Spotlight.[30] The iPad syncs with iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC.[3] Apple ported its iWork suite from the Mac to the iPad; the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote applications will be sold in the App Store.[3] Although the iPad is not designed as a cellphone replacement, a user can pair it with a Bluetooth headset and place phone calls using a VoIP application over Wi-Fi or 3G.[31]

Books and magazines

The iPad will also include the iBooks application, which displays books and other ePub-format content downloaded from the iBookstore.[32] Currently several major book publishers including Penguin Books, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan have committed to publishing books for the iPad.[26]

In February 2010, Condé Nast said it would sell iPad subscriptions for its GQ, Vanity Fair and Wired magazines by June.[33]

Reception

Media reaction to the iPad announcement was mixed. Walt Mossberg wrote, "It's about the software, stupid", meaning hardware features and build are less important to the iPad's success than software and user interface, his first impressions of which were largely positive. Mossberg also called the price "modest" for a device of its capabilities, and praised the 10-hour battery life.[34] Others, including PC Advisor and The Sydney Morning Herald, wrote that the iPad would also compete with proliferating netbooks, most of which use Microsoft Windows.[35][36] And the $499 price surprised nearly everyone, including the tech press, Wall Street analysts, and Apple's competitors.[37][38][39]

Yair Reiner said the iPad will compete against e-book devices such as the Barnes & Noble nook and the Amazon Kindle while offering 70% of revenue to publishers, the same arrangement afforded developers on the Apple App Store.[40] Notably, a week before the iPad's expected release, the Amazon Kindle store increased publishers' revenue share to 70% as well.[41]

Several days after the unveiling, Stephen Fry said people must use the iPad to truly appreciate its purpose and quality and commented that common criticisms of the device fall away after use. Fry noted the iPad's speed and responsiveness, the intuitive interface and the richness and detail of the display.[42]

Expected features controversy

CNET and Gizmodo have listed features that are missing from the iPad that they believe customers expect, including a camera for video chat, Adobe Flash support, a widescreen screen aspect ratio, the ability to run more than one application at once, and a more flexible wired-data port than the iPod dock connector.[43][27] The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Gizmodo noted that the iPad will only officially support installing software from the App Store.[27][44] CNET also criticised the iPad for its apparent lack of wireless sync which other portable devices such as Microsoft's Zune have had for a number of years now, at the moment there is no independant proof the iPad lacks this feature though, and the built in iTunes should be able to download from the internet as well.[45]

While CNN and Wired News criticized the lack of a webcam, they defended other omissions, including Flash: "Who needs Flash, anyway? YouTube and Vimeo have both switched to H.264 for video streaming, and the rest of the world of Flash is painful to use"; multitasking: "it will not matter at all to the target user" and "likely a large part of that ten-hour battery life"; widescreen aspect ratio: "16:9 ratio in [portrait mode] would look oddly tall and skinny ... [4:3 is] a compromise, and a good one"; and a USB port: "The iPad is meant to be an easy-to-use appliance, not an all-purpose computer. A USB port would mean installing drivers for printers, scanners and anything else you might hook up".[46][47]

Tech reporter Leo Laporte offered a mixed initial review, praising the iPad's speed but panning the lack of a camera, video output, USB or FireWire ports, and the inability to run multiple applications at the same time, specifically the inability to run a chat application along with other applications.[48] He also mentioned the device's "locked down", closed nature, noting that some at the announcement protested Apple's "full control" of the software. He concluded that the iPad should be viewed as an "appliance" for media consumers, not really a computer in the traditional sense.

Digital rights controversy

Digital rights advocates, including the Free Software Foundation, computer engineer and activist Brewster Kahle, and Internet-law specialist Jonathan Zittrain, have criticized the iPad for its use of the iPhone OS, which forbids users to install software unless it has been approved by Apple. These critics say Apple's restrictions unfairly deny users control over their own computers, and that such restrictions could stifle software innovation.[49][50]

Product name

Like the iPhone, the iPad shares its name with existing products. The most publicized is the Fujitsu iPAD, a mobile multi-functional device sold to retailers to help clerks verify prices, check inventory, and close sales. The Japanese company Fujitsu introduced the iPAD in 2002, and the following year applied for the trademark. But the firm found the mark was already owned by Mag-Tek. Fujitsu's application was listed as "abandoned" in April 2009, and the ownership of the mark is unclear. Fujitsu is consulting attorneys over what, if any, action it may take.[51][52]

In the first days after the iPad's announcement, some media and many online commenters criticized the name "iPad", noting its similarity to "pad", the common name for a sanitary napkin.[53][54][55][56] Wired News said some women said this would make them less likely to buy the product.[53] Shortly after the launch announcement, the hashtag "iTampon" became the number-two trending topic on the social networking site Twitter.[55][57] Others noted that "iPad" sounds like "iPod" in various regional accents, including Bostonian and the Irish accent.[58]

See also

References

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  58. ^ Brad Stone (January 29, 2010). "For Apple, iPad Said More Than Intended". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/technology/29name.html. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 

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