Affordable Apple Innovation in the Palm of Your Hand

by Matt Klassen on January 29, 2010

On Wednesday Apple released the new iPad amidst equal parts fanfare and cynicism. Many remain disappointed with the features the iPad lacks, while others continue to be astounded by what Apple has managed to pack into a relatively small package. I, for one, am cautiously optimistic, impressed by what Apple has tried to accomplish here and intrigued by how to will be received by the average tech user. Nevertheless, here are a few of the more interesting innovations featured in the iPad:

Hardware

Look out Intel and company, Apple has decided to use its own processor. In a revelation that came as the first of many surprises during the iPad premiere, Apple stated that it’s using its own P.A. Semi technology to manufacture a custom 1GHz “Apple A4” chip in the iPad.

Further, the iPad boasts a sleek and sophisticated design, with a 9.7” display, its feather-light 1.5lbs, and a battery that Apple claims will run for 10 hours—although it’s still not clear if that is measured in Apple hours or real hours. If the processor really performs, coupled with extended battery life and a supposed month-long standby feature, the iPad will have a distinct advantage in both the mobile tech and laptop markets.



Despite the fact that it lacks some cool extras like Skype capability, an internal camera, or even the ability to multi-tasking, this device, which simply looks like an over-sized iPhone, will almost certainly be another colossal success for Apple. Many journalists and guests at the Apple unveiling said the lure of the iPad is that it seems to come alive in your hands; a magnificent piece of technology that we can all easily and immediately integrate into our lives.

Keyboard

One of the features that has been subject to much speculation in recent weeks was the keyboard that Apple would use for the iPad; whether they would implement a two-thumb device, go with a touch screen interface, or provide an external keyboard connection.

While I was disappointed to hear that no wireless Bluetooth keyboard was available, I was nonetheless impressed by both the full sized touch keyboard available and the additional external keyboard that can be connected to the iPad in the same way you would connect external speakers to your iPod.

TV Features

Through the choppy video and gritty audio streamed from hundreds of phones, video recorders, and other digital devices that beamed the Apple unveiling immediately to the world, it was hard to get a sense for the TV or gaming features that the iPad provides. Suffice it to say, the presentation made by Major League Baseball was enough to leave all those waiting for portable interactive TV interfacing relentlessly salivating. While watching a live streaming webcast on MLB.com, the presenter demonstrated several touch screen options that ranged from pulling up each players baseball card, bio and relevant stats, to changing camera angles as each play commenced; an innovation that certainly has a great deal of potential in a handheld device.

iBooks

Along with iTunes and the App store, Apple revealed the creation of the iBook store, an online purchasing system for ebooks that you can read on the iPad. While Steve Jobs admitted that the iPad is clearly standing on the shoulders of other readers like the Kindle, it remains to be seen whether Amazon’s reader will be able to weather this storm.

Pricing

The iPad’s greatest boon in the mobile tech world, however, will certainly be its affordability. With Apple releasing several different versions of the iPad, even the stingiest tech consumer will be able to justify the $499 price tag for the base model.

Storage Capacity Price: Standard Version Price: 3G Version
16 GB $499 $629
32 GB $599 $729
64 GB $699 $829

But with release date for the standard versions only 60 days away, and 90 days for the 3G versions, the world will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on Apple’s new baby.

I must warn you, though, don’t expect to be blown away by the technological advances of the iPad; as I mentioned yesterday, they’re not particularly revolutionary (think a larger version of the iPod touch or iPhone). Instead, the lure of the iPad is that it provides advanced technology on a truly personal scale…and at an unbelievable price.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike January 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

I dunno about the iPad. It runs the iPod OS, which doesn’t multitask! The one thing most execs that are going to want to do is surf and do spreadsheets at the same time, and I don’t seem them being able to easily do that on the iPad.

Derek January 30, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Unbelievable price…for what? For $499.00 I’m getting a kinda big iPhone (oh, except without a camera) that still can’t multitask? Why is this such a great deal?

Somewhat like democracy, Blackberries remain the least worst. 🙂

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