Apple iPad's Price Puts It Within Reach of Small Businesses
The surprisingly low price of Apple's long-awaited touch screen tablet, the iPad, which starts at $499, makes it an affordable (and desirable) option for small businesses, an Apple expert argues.After months of waiting, the Apple tablet, now officially known as the iPad, was released with much fanfare. Touted as a "magical and revolutionary device," the iPad looks like a very large iPhone (it sports a 9.7-inch touch screen) and offers models with Wi-Fi and 3G capability. And it boasts a base price that is much lower than analysts' expectations. At the iPad's unveiling Jan. 27, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced a starting price of $499 (for a 16GB Wi-Fi-enabled iPad), with unlimited data plans for $30. The top-end model is a 64GB version with 3G capability, which would retail for $829 when it reaches store shelves in a couple of months. The question now is, Who will feel the need to buy one?
For the past year and a half, the small to medium-size business (SMB) market has been gravitating toward netbooks (smaller, cheaper notebooks with limited computing power) to improve mobility and reduce cost among company road warriors. With the average netbook retailing for between $400 to $600, this puts the iPad within an SMB's budget range. However, the iPad requires additional accessories, such as a stand and keyboard (the iPad offers a near full-size virtual keyboard), the aforementioned data plan and perhaps software additions like iWork applications (at $9.99 an app).