Apple introduces the $499 iPad - 3G models, unlocked too
So there you have it. After several billion years, stars have formed, life has evolved and finally we have a blummin' iPhone Tablet. Yes, the iPad is here. You can see all the spec for yourself here - and you can win one for free here!
It has a 9.7 inch screen and is half an inch thin - there's just the one screen size, rather than a range of different sized devices. It's powered by an 1GHz Apple A4 chip with 16GB to 64GB of flash storage, as well as all the features of the iPhone - compass, accelerometer, Bluetooth, speaker, microphone. It also has a 10 hour battery life - so halve that and knock an hour off.
The basic device has wifi capabilities, although there is another version with wifi capability; the deal struck with AT&T in the US means unlimited use for $29.99 a month (£18.53) with no contract - plus the 3G version is also unlocked. One note on the 3g - the iPad takes a "GSM micro SIM" - which UK operators currently offers them, then? None at all, we think. Apps currently found in the App Store will run on the iPad, although changes to the developer SDK will allow apps to be specifically built for it.
How much? Despite the doomsayers predicting near $1,000, the basic iPad is $499 in the US - that's £309 in proper money, so expect a £350/£399 price tag. There are six models in total: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB, each available as wifi or 3G - $499 gets you the basic version, it's $599 for 32GB and $699 for the wifi iPad. If you fancy 3G then 16GB is $629, 32GB is $729 and a 64GB iPad with 3G is $829. There's also a standalone keyboard available too, and the whole kit and kaboodle ships in March.