** Updated as of 4.14am, 28th January 2009. **
Good morning folks! If you've just woken up and want to know just what happened last night, well, Apple has unveiled its latest product, the Apple iPad. Featuring a 9.7-inch IPS screen, weighing in at just 680g for the WiFi model and 730g for the WiFi and 3G model, while measuring 1.34cm thick, the iPad is Apple's answer to the tablet form factor.
Internally, it seems that Apple is using the chip made by P.A. Semi which they bought a while back, and should be an ARM-based system-on-chip running at 1GHz dubbed the Apple A4. Battery life is projected to be at 10 hours on the 25Whr Li-ion battery, with 'days' of standby time. There's the usual accelerometer, ambient light sensor and magnetic compass found on the current iPhone 3GS.
Looks wise, it resembles a gigantic iPhone and photo frame, and feels closer to the first generation iPhone with its aluminum enclosure. The 3G version of the iPad looks like it will have a plastic strip at the top of the product to tuck in the necessary antennas for signal strength reasons (which is why the all newer iPhones use a plastic backing instead of the nicer aluminum cover of the first iPhone).
There will also be accessories you can buy, including a keyboard dock (the iPad Keyboard Dock, a cover (the iPad Case) and a connector to upload photos from a camera either via USB or a SD card reader (iPad Camera Connection Kit).
Price wise, you're looking at US$499 for the basic 16GB WiFi model, while the top end 64GB WiFi+3G model will set you back a cool US$829. The WiFi units will ship in 60 days internationally, while the 3G models will be coming in June once Apple finalizes its deals with telcos (most probably) and content publishers.
As for the features, the iPad will be able to run iPhone apps natively, and even double the pixel count for those apps in a full screen mode. There will also be a mobile version of the iWork productivity suite, but the most interesting feature has to be the iBook's app, where users will be able to download the free iBook app and purchase books for reading on the iPad.
There's no mention of Flash playback, nor multi-tasking, but we did spot a few things during the event. Firstly, it seems like the Flash plug-in wasn't working during one of the demos, and multi-tasking didn't seem to be in action while the demos were going on. The New York Times demo however, revealed video streaming functionality, but it may just be app related for now.
That's about it for our summary of the event, we'll see what happens next when the device actually ships, but for all the hype, the Apple iPad seems a little underwhelming; we aren't sure if it will change the newspaper and magazine industry for now. We'll find out in 60 days, but if you are curious, you can pop on over to Apple's website to check out more pictures and a video of Jonathan Ive talking about the iPad (which is still a pretty drab name to be honest).
Below Content Updated as of 7.30pm, 27th January 2009
By now, you should be more than curious about what Apple will be launching. What could it actually be? Given the amount of rumors and 'leaks' to date, we're guessing (and pretty darn sure) it's going to be a tablet device. What would it be called? Various names have been suggested, from the crappy to extremely plausible ones (iPad, iSlate, Canvas etc) but like everyone else, we'll have to see what Steve Jobs will pull out from his turtleneck shirt sleeve.
Apart from what it looks like or what it will be called, we do know that there will be gaming involved (as game journalists have been invited to the event) while publisher McGraw-Hill has leaked on television that it is a tablet and they are supplying content.
But it's not all about the tablet; we're also guessing Apple will talk about the new iPhone 4.0 operating system and other Mac related stuff. The hype this launch event has been getting is just way too positive for Apple not to make full use of. So, will we see a switch from Google to Bing for the iPhone search engine as has been reported? Will we see other fundamental changes to how the iPhone is sold in the US (which is an end to the AT&T exclusivity deal)? We're as eager as you to find out!
Here's how our live coverage is going to work:-