- Title: USA: Apple unveils new iPad tablet device
- Date: 28th January 2010
- Summary: BROWSING, VIDEO GAMING, AND BOOKS PURCHASING (SOUNDBITE) (English) APPLE FOUNDER AND CEO STEVE JOBS, SAYING: "And I am thrilled to announce to you that the iPad pricing starts not at $999, but at just $499." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TESTING IPAD
- Embargoed: 12th February 2010 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA7A7M5NTZHVVHM32TZ5UUVOA6M
- Story Text: Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off the highly anticipated "iPad" tablet and pitched it at a surprisingly low price, aiming to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops.
Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco Wednesday (January 27), to introduce his company's new product, the highly anticipated "iPad" tablet.
Jobs, who returned to the helm last year after a much-scrutinized liver transplant, introduced the product at a packed theater and showed off a sleek, half-inch thick tablet computer with a 9.7-inch touchscreen.
Calling the iPad the most sophisticated piece of technology the $50 billion (USD) company has ever created, Jobs told the audience why the company felt there was a spot in the marketplace for the product.
"Everybody uses a laptop and/or a smartphone. And the question has arisen lately, is there room for a third category of device in the middle?" says Jobs. "Netbooks aren't better at anything. They're slow, they have low quality displays, and they run clunky old PC software. So they're not better than a laptop at anything, they're just cheaper. They're just cheap laptops, and we don't think they're a third category device. But we think we've got something that is, and we'd like to show it to you today for the first time, and we call it the iPad," Jobs says before introducing the product."
The iPad can run movies, games and a gamut of applications. And taking on e-readers like Amazon's Kindle, Apple announced a digital bookstore called iBooks that will let users buy from publishers including Pearson Plc's Penguin, News Corp's HarperCollins, and Hachette Book Group.
Jobs also pitched the iPad at a surprisingly low base price, claiming that he wants as many people as possible to afford the device. It will sell from late March for as low as $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage. An extra $130 is needed to equip it with third-generation wireless capability.
Shares of Apple rose to as high as $210.58 after the pricing news, up 5.5 percent from their session low. The stock closed up 0.94 percent at $207.88 on Nasdaq, within reach of its all-time high of $215.59 logged on Jan 5. Apple announced a data plan with AT&T Inc, which appeared to have beaten out Verizon Wireless for the deal. Shares of AT&T, Apple's carrier partner on the iPhone, rose 1.14 percent while Verizon Communications Inc fell about 1 percent.
The iPad is Apple's biggest product launch since the iPhone three years ago, and arguably rivals the smartphone as the most anticipated in the company's history. Wednesday's event follows months of feverish speculation on the Web and on Wall Street.
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