Apple's Jobs unveils 'intimate' $499 iPad tablet
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple Inc. will sell the newly unveiled tablet-style iPad starting at $499, a price tag far below the $1,000 that some analysts were expecting.
The iPad, which is larger in size but similar in design to Apple's popular iPhone, was billed today by CEO Steve Jobs as "so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone."
Jobs, 54, a survivor of pancreatic cancer who got a liver transplant during a 5 1/2-month medical leave last year, looked thin as he introduced the highly anticipated gadget.
The iPad has a 9.7-inch touch screen, is a half-inch thick, weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage. The basic iPad models will cost $499, $599 and $699, depending on the storage size.
All models have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built in. Jobs said the device has a battery that lasts 10 hours and can sit for a month on standby without needing a charge.
Apple will also sell a version with pay-as-you-go data plans from AT&T in the U.S. Two tiers of data plan will be available without contracts: $14.99 per month for 250 megabytes of data, or $29.99 for unlimited data usage.
Those 3G models will cost more -- $629, $729 and $829, depending on the amount of memory. The Wi-Fi only version will be available worldwide in March, and the 3G version in April. International cellular data details have not yet been announced.