Friday, March 5, 2010

iPad: U.S. Pre-orders Mar.12, On Sale Apr 3. Details & Analysis

The Washington Post carries partner TechCrunch's report by Leena Rao on the availability of the Apple iPad.

  Both the WiFi and WiFi+3G wireless sets will finally be available for pre-order by U.S. customers from March 12 from Apple's online store (, or you can reserve a Wi-Fi-only model for pick-up on Saturday, April 3, at an Apple retail store.

Apple announced that the WiFi-Network-capable iPad will be available in the U.S. on April 3, delayed just a bit from the expected March date.
  The recent rumors that shipment was delayed until April turned out to be true, but I hardly see it as a problem when it'll be available that early in April.

The WiFi with 3G cellular-wireless-capable models will be ready in late April.

With the WiFi network (home/office), you can browse, buy and download apps from The App Store.  The iPad comes with 12 new apps designed especially for it and will run almost all of the more than 150,000 apps on the App Store, including most of the ones on your iPhone or iPod though you would likely resize them, at lower resolution, to make better use of the larger screen.

All the apps and content you download on iPad from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your computer.

However, iBooks will be available only in the U.S. until later this year, per the announcement.

  While the iBooks app for iPad including Apple's iBookstore can be downloaded in the U.S., for free, from the App Store on April 3, other countries will be added later this year.

Apple's announcement has only this statement about battery life.
  "*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors.
   Actual results vary.

Pricing for the two sets of models hasn't changed.
  The pricing, as I said earlier, is very good for a web-device if you want one without the type of cellular-wireless feature that has made the Kindle, new Sony Daily Edition, and nook e-readers popular for the ability to download books to the devices from almost anywhere you are.

  In other words, the non-3G model will be used mostly in the home or in offices, but it won't be able to do web browsing anywhere you happen to be as can be done on smartphones, including the iPhone (with monthly charges) and in a slow, monochromatic, but free way with the Kindle.
Here are the pricing options:
For Wi-Fi network use only:
  16GB $499
  32GB $599
  64GB $699

For addition of 3G cellular wireless capability (like the Kindle's)
  and (before monthly web-data charges)
  16GB $629
  32GB $729
  64GB $829

Monthly web-data charges are $15 for an almost useless amount of data (mainly email-type use but not much web browsing) and $30 for almost unlimited data, which is a very good deal.

In other words:
  For the 3G wireless capability we have with the Kindle, Sony, nook, etc., in addition to the WiFi feature:
    the lowest actual cost (for the model with the smallest amount of memory for a device usable for videos) is:

$629 + ($30/mo. x 12) which gives you
$629 + $360 for the first year = $989.
    Add the kit that lets you use USB & photo-transfers: + $29
Total of $1,018 - Lowest model with 3G cellphone wireless network + WiFi .

One can choose month to month and opt out, but it's not likely that people who pay $130 more for the 3G cellular wireless would then choose not to use it.  With 3G (rather than with WiFi-only), you can use it in a car on trips or anywhere there is no WiFi network available.

However, if you can do without the ability to carry the iPad to do any web-surfing or email wherever you're out and about and would be satisfied to be able to do this only when finding WiFi hotspots or using home/office WiFi networks, then the price is only $499 + a $29 adapter kit (not yet carried at Amazon).
Total: $528 for lowest model with WiFi-networks only.

  The "camera connection kit" includes an adapter that is needed for file transfers (it provides USB-equivalent connection for that) as well as a Dock Connector-based SD Card reader for transfer of photos.
Engadget has an article on the optional keyboard (for more intense writing), dock, the camera connection kit, and Apple case.  The article includes a hands-on report with photos.

  I was interested to see that Amazon already offers 76 search-results for iPad kits and 234 results for iPad accessories

There is no general, direct USB port nor SD slot.  For people new to the iPad details, the much-discussed missing features, important for some and not for others, include:
  . no multi-tasking capability
  . no support for Flash video on web pages
  . no webcam for video conferencing
  . no dedicated, directly usable USB port (adapter is buyable)
  . no SD slot (an SD card reader is included in the optional camera connection kit)

But you can choose, move, resize, etc., with the Multi-Touch(TM) interface, which will be a fun way to browse the web or email while on your couch, watching tv -- although probably email-writing would be best with shorter notes with a virtual keyboard, though this keyboard is said to have, relatively, a very good response.

I wrote a more detailed analysis, on January 27, of what the given and projected pricing actually includes.

Again, beginning March 12, U.S. customers can pre-order the device (all models) either online or at their local Apple retail store and pick up a WiFi-only one on April 3.
  The iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April. Other countries will be added later this year and announced in April.

International pricing will be announced in April.

The new iBooks app for iPad includes Apple's new iBookstore, of course.  As most following the news on this tablet device know, Apple's publishing partners include the Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster.

Beginning a week from today, on March 12, US customers can pre-order both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models from Apple's online store ( or reserve a Wi-Fi model to pick up on Saturday, April 3, at an Apple retail store.

Read the full article for much more detail on the iPad features and Apple's full announcement.

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  1. for international pricing, replace dollar sign with euro sign.

  2. j,
    What are you talking about here?

    First, the number amounts for int'l as they were reported LATER when they were released are -not- the same as the $-amounts. Were you just kidding? Or?

    Also, in the UK, the VAT has to be removed from the pricing that we see. I do have int'l pricing =as it was= later when they were made available...


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