Apple iPad Tablet released today Jan 27, 2010 – full update

(photos courtesy of this excellent post from the GDGT team here and thanks to the LeoLaporte/Twit team and Ustream for their feed here.)

Holy cow, did I ever call this one right back in March of this year. Scary right. Apple has reinvented the mobile industry…again.

Apple’s new iPad is a radical game-changer, a disruptive competitor to Amazon, a disruptor to the software business and a great leap forward in terms of user interface. It’s freaking awesome. This will be Steve Jobs’ legacy:

  • Apple update:
    • they just had their larget quarter ever
    • their gross margins are up over 40% while the rest of the industry is collapsing while fighting it out in the netbook category
    • They have over 140,000 apps in the app store that have been downloaded over 3 billion times.
    • They’re now a > 50B company.
    • Apple is the world’s largest mobile product company: bigger than Nokia, Samsung, or Sony. Holy crap.
    • 125M credit cards that have downloaded over 12 Billion products.
  • The iPad
    • “netbooks suck at everything”
    • we decided to create a tablet
    • 9.7″ diagonal
    • custom processor
    • <1/2″ thick; less than 1.5 pounds;
    • auto-rotation, GPS, compass, 3G, WIFI
    • all new iTunes
    • all new iPhoto
    • all new calendar
    • all new address book
    • It’s a full on replacement for the old “day-timer”
    • multi-touch everywhere
    • 10 hours of work time and a month of standby time
    • insanely fast graphics
    • run all 140,000 existing iPhone apps at regular 1x size or at 2x full-size;
    • new apps can be built to run at full screen
    • soft keyboard is almost the same size as a real keyboard
    • plugs into a projector and a portable keyboard and has its own cover
  • iBooks
    • 5 major publishers on board, more coming
    • beautiful display
    • iTunes like bookstore built in
    • Editorial notes from me:
      • as a user of the Kindle DX, I can’t wait for this. I hate the low speed and crappy hardware of the DX but love having my books with me eveerywhere I go.
      • They have only said “we have 5 major publishers on board” but haven’t said anything about how many titles they have. Amazon has 400,000 and counting and content is king.
      • I would also be happy to use the “Kindle for iPhone” application from Amazon if they release one. I can see having my e-books split across the two libraries which is slightly annoying but not the end of the world.

  • iWork – all new iPad apps for $9.99 each (WHOA).
    • brand new apps
    • multi-touch
    • incredible app for a portable device
    • Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations.
    • [I’m floored by this $9.99 pricing. They’ve just disrupted the entire personal productivity software pricing model.]

  • Accessories:
    • we have built a dock so you can plug in and type and recharge
    • we have a great case built for it

  • Pricing:
    • DATA PLAN
      • USA:
        • $14.99 = 250MB/mo (good for most people) with no contract; cancel anytime you want [this is great because so many people were so pissed off at AT&T)
        • $29.99 unlimited
        • Both include free use of AT&T wifi hotspots
        • Cancel anytime is a great feature
      • Rest of world:
        • July 2010 pricing coming soon
        • but you can use a micro SIM to run it on your own local carrier with our permission before July
    • IPAD (wifi only pricing / wifi + 3G) [kind of like the iPod Touch / iPhone]
      • 16GB: $499/$629
      • 32GB: $599/729
      • 64GB: $699/829

SUMMARY thoughts:

As usual, Apple has knocked it out of the park. They have built on their successes that came before: iPhone, app store, iPhone economy, app store, iTunes, and now iPad. This is the beginning of the next arc for Apple and will add another $50B/yr to their revenue. You can see their follow-on areas to add: video camera for skype/camming.

The price models illustrate the best pricing strategy I have seen. They chose the price to go to market with $499 and also had margin requirements (knowing Steve and team from a distance) and as evidenced by their increased margins from this last quarterly earnings call. They then engineered it to be producible at that margin and at that market price. It’s staggering.

This will cause yet another Cambrian explosion in application development and a (temporary?) bump in the publishing realm as all of the struggling newspapers move their content onto this platform.

Fan-boy glow aside, this is a technology and business game changer across mobile, netbooks, and laptops and will fundamentally restructure things AGAIN like the iPhone did.

I”m shocked at how well Apple has consistently executed on their business from the Macbooks to the iPhone/iPod Touches, the App Store, the iTunes store, and now the iPad. This is the beginning of something huge for Apple.

Nice work Steve and team!

Sign me up!

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