Apple made its iPad tablet PC available for preorder through its Apple Website on the morning of March 12, three weeks ahead of its April 3 release. While iPads with Wi-Fi will be released on that date, the devices with both Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities will ship in late April. Some 150,000 apps will be available for the iPad at launch, according to Apple, and third-party analytics suggest that developers have gravitated towards building apps for the upcoming platform. Apple's App Store will feature 300,000 apps by the end of 2010, according to IDC.
Apple made its much-hyped iPad tablet PC available for
preorder on the morning of March 12, three weeks before the device's actual
release. The iPad's success or failure will likely influence, in a substantial
way, whether the nascent movement to make tablet PCs a common consumer item
becomes an established trend.
Apple is apparently imposing an iPad pre-order of two per
customer. While iPads equipped with WiFi will be available April 3, those
ordering an iPad with WiFi and 3G will need to wait until "late April" before
their device ships. The contract-free AT&T 3G data plan sells for 250 MB
per month at $14.99, or unlimited for $29.99.
The devices can be pre-ordered
from the Apple Website.
The marketing push for the iPad has already begun in
earnest, with Apple airing its first television commercial for the device
during the Academy Awards telecast March 7. That 30-second spot focused on a
pair of hands using the tablet PC as a media player, e-reader, scheduler and
advertisement also gave viewers a chance to view some details of the iPad's
, including an iPhone-like "Slide to Unlock" bar, an
iBookstore for e-books designed to recall the iTunes store, a virtual QWERTY
keyboard and an iWork productivity suite optimized for touch. Perhaps in
keeping with the iPad being more unfamiliar to consumers than a traditional
laptop, the ad devotes all its time to detailing the device's functions, as
opposed to the usual Apple marketing campaigns that tend to center on the
company's tech-hipster ethos.
Apple is preparing for 150,000 apps to be available when the
device launches, according to the Apple Website, which represents a slight rise
from the 140,000 apps suggested during the iPad's unveiling Jan. 27. The
company has been encouraging developers to build apps via the iPhone SDK 3.2
beta; according to mobile analytics company Flurry, the number of Flurry
analytics being integrated into iPhone OS applications increased threefold in
January, suggesting that developers were jockeying to take advantage of the
Apple's App Store will feature 300,000 apps by the end of
2010, according to research firm IDC, an expansion that has led the company to
increasingly crack down on what it views as inappropriate programs and shady
practices by a small subset of developers. In a Feb. 22 article in The New York
Times, Apple's head of worldwide product marketing, Philip Schiller, suggested
that certain controversial apps had been pulled from the storefront because
users complained their content was "too degrading and objectionable." Apple has
also pulled apps by developers who allegedly posted fake positive reviews.
16GB version of the iPad will cost $499 with WiFi
, and $629 with WiFi and
3G. The 32GB version will cost $599 with WiFi, and $729 with Wi-Fi and 3G. The
64GB version will cost $699 with WiFi, and $829 with WiFi and 3G.