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The mysterious Apple iPad

business Updated: Jan 28, 2010 07:56 IST
Shakeel Sobhan

October 1983 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh, a computer that changed how personal computers looked and worked forever. This revolutionary product gradually transformed into the iMac of today, a sleek machine that dazzled every self confessed geek with its sheer power and capabilities.

23 October, 2001 - Apple launched the iPod, a portable music player which signaled the end of the walkman generation and grew to be the best-selling digital audio player series in history.

January 9, 2007 - This time it was Apple's iPhone that took everybody's breath away with its launch. Months prior to its launch the net was abuzz with rumours and speculations about iPhone. And it did live up to the hype. It challenged all existing competition with its innovative functions and sleek design.

January 27, 2009 - Apple had sent out a invite to media for an event on Jan 27, 2010 promising a surprise. "Come and see our latest creation," said the invite. This slight hint was enough to send the Internet in tizzy. For this maybe the long awaited, even longer speculated launch of the Apple tablet. Tech enthusiasts have christened the product iPad, iSlate or iBook even before the official name was announced. It's no wonder that Apple, Apple Tablet, iSlate, iTablet were all on the hot trends list of Twitter lately.

Held breathes and audible gasps accompanied the unveiling of the iPad (as it is officially called) by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Apple is known for the secrecy around its products and as with all other previous launches of Apple products the info was tight till the last moment but this time something passed through the net of secrecy. Terry McGraw - the chairman, president and chief executive of US publishing company McGraw-Hill in an interview with American business news network CNBC let slip some unknown but speculated details about the Apple Tablet specially like how it would be based on the iPhone operating system. This generated even more hype around the product.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple has held discussions with potential entertainment and publishing partners thus raising speculations about the product vehement attempt to take on the Kindle. Amazon's Kindle has as yet dominated the scene of ebook readers and is ranked as the No. 1 highest selling product on but the Apple Tablet would surely and sorely challenge its dominance. For it does what the kindle does, plus a lot more. The iPad is aimed at browsing, emailing, photos, video, music, ebooks and gaming. No wonder game execs were waiting for the iPad too excitedly.

Thus with all the hype it's no wonder that one tweet said, "The Apple Tablet comes out today! My technolust is tingling!!!" while another read, "Lets get this thing going already... I'm on my fourth espresso and I can barely hold my credit card steady!" Apple sure had all the eyes on the iPad.

Stats of iPad the as stated during the launch:

- 0.5 inches thick
- weighs 1.5 pounds (0.7kilos)
- 9.7 inch multitouch display
- 1GHz Apple A4 chip (built in house)
- between 16GB and 64GB of flash memory

Cost of the iPad was stated by Jobs to be $499 while analysts expect shipping to begin in March or April, 2010.

In Japan eagerly awaiting techies were fighting sleepiness as the 10 am Pacific Time Apple event meant 3 am Japanese time. They could finally go off to sleep having seen the proverbial Tablet. And may be smile too, at the thought of owning one soon.