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Apple iPad announced, starting price of $499 - shipping in 60 days

Today, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage to introduce a new device named the Apple iPad.

Jobs began by revealing that Apple has reached 250 million iPod sales to date. He then revealed that "Apple is the largest mobile devices business in the world today." Moving on throughout Jobs speech he questioned whether there is room for a third category device in-between a laptop or a smart-phone. Jobs then mocked competitors for investing in netbooks and immediately revealed the iPad.

Jobs went on to demonstrate several features including browsing, Photos and built-in slideshows. The iTunes store is also built in and the usual suspects of a mail, contacts and calendar applications are available. Jobs also demonstrated the maps application and its location features.

YouTube HD support is also included and Jobs demonstrated various videos during his keynote. After the video demonstrations Jobs moved onto the specifications:

  • 0.5" thin
  • Weighs 1.5 pounds
  • 9.7" IPS display
  • 1GHz Apple A4 processor
  • 16, 32, or 64GB of flash storage
  • 802.11n, WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1
  • 10 hours battery life

Various applications were demonstrated on the new iPad, some run at full resolution with slight pixelation whilst others run at their native resolution which seems far from ideal. A New York Times application was also demonstrated briefly that syncs between the iPhone app and includes in-line video clips.

Later in his speech Jobs priced up data plans for the iPad over 3G, AT&T will be offering the following:

  • 250MB monthly data limit for $14.99 - No contract
  • Unlimited data for $29.99 - No contract

International data plans will be revealed in June.

The iPad will be available in two months time for the WiFi only version and three months time for the WiFi and 3G version. Pricing of the devices will be:

  • 16GB WiFi only $499, WiFi + 3G $629
  • 32GB WiFi only $599, WiFi + 3G $729
  • 64GB WiFi only $699, WiFi + 3G $829

Apple also announced a case and keyboard dock accessory for "when you really need to do a lot of typing" said Jobs.

News of the announcement saw Apple's (AAPL) stock drop over 1% initially and later recovered and rose 1%.

Image Credits: GDGT, Engadget, Gizmodo

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