Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple Debuts $499 IPad, Launches iBook Store

Apple Debuts $499 iPad; Launches iBooks Store
By Calvin Reid -- Publishers Weekly, 1/27/2010 1:25:00 PM
Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, its much-anticipated multimedia mobile computing device, to the world and there’s much to talk about. It’s fairly large, indeed it looks like a large iPhone. It’s got a 9.7” full color touchscreen (1024×768); weighs 1.5 lbs; is about 1/2” thick and will offer 16 to 64GB of storage—nonexpandable. It has Wi-fi and some models will offer 3G access and the iPad will run all iPhone apps right out the box.
Even more important is the price—the iPad will start at $499 and go up to about $830 for some tricked out models. An impressive and attractive price point that will likely go down. It's said to offer 10 hours of battery life and the device is reported to run on the iPhone OS although it is not clear if it supports multi-tasking.
The device was demoed with newspaper content from the New York Times and supports video and audio embedded in the content. Most importantly, the iPad will support the ePub e-book standard and Apple has developed its own e-reader software, iBooks, and will also launch an iBookstore. E-book pricing is reported to be in the $15 range.The store will launch with iBook format content from Hachette, S&S, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins, apparently excluding Random House. However, in a statement, Random House’s Stuart Applebaum, said, “Random House welcomes Apple's iPad and iBooks app and we look forward to our continuing conversations with them about how we might best work together.”
Is this the end of paper book? I do not think so. Some books will not work on an ereader, like craft books. However, ebook fiction is up and coming. The Brigham City Library has purchased non-fiction and fiction ebooks. And I love reading ebooks on my fact, I have 20 books on my Blackberry book shelf.

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