Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off an "iPad" tablet with a lower-than-expected price tag, placing a big bet on a new breed of gadgets that aim to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops.
Jobs, who returned to the helm last year after a much-scrutinized liver transplant, took the stage at packed theater on Wednesday and showed off a sleek, half-inch thick tablet computer with a 9.7-inch touchscreen. It can run movies, books, games and a gamut of applications.
The iPad will sell for as low as $499 for 16 GB of storage. An extra $130 is needed to equip it with third-generation wireless capability.
"What once occupied half your living room can now be dropped in a bag," said NPD analyst Ned May. "It's pulling together a variety of needs (in) a universal entertainment device."
Shares of Apple were up 1.7 percent after the pricing details were announced to trade at $209.40, within reach of their all-time high of $215.59 logged on Jan. 5.
The tablet is Apple's biggest product launch since the iPhone three years ago, and arguably rivals the smartphone as the most anticipated in Apple's history.
Culminating months of feverish speculation on the Internet and among investors, Jobs took the stage at a jam-packed theater in San Francisco and, with his famed showman's flair, began displaying the device's features.
Jobs said there was a need for a new type of device that would sit between a smartphone and laptop computer, and that can perform tasks like browse the Web, play games and display electronic books.
"If there's going to be a third category of device, it's going to have to be better at these kinds of tasks," he said.
The iPad has a near life-sized touch keyboard and supports Web browsing. It comes with a built-in calendar and address book, Jobs said, calling it "awesome."
In an online poll on reuters.com, 37 percent of more than 1,000 respondents said they would pay $500-$699 for the tablet. Nearly 30 percent weren't interested, while 20 percent said they would pay $700-$899.
Analysts' sales predictions for the tablet vary widely, with many believing Apple can sell 2 million to 5 million units in the first year.
2010-01-29 19:38 编辑：kuaileyingyu
IF YOU fly from Hong Kong to Frankfurt or Paris and look suspiciously like a gadget lover, chances are that you will be searched by customs officers: an iPad with Wi-Fi and 16 giga