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Apple Confirms iPad Release Date

Gordon Kelly


Apple Confirms iPad Release Date

Read about the new iPad Air and iPad mini 2

Much parodied, lampooned and occasionally praised, the iPad has garnered much notoriety since it was first unveiled in January. Hopefully endless discussion of the theoretical up and downsides of the controversial product can soon stop though, since Apple has finally announced an official release date.

3 April is the day US citizens will be able to wrap their hands around this giant iPod touch while both WiFi and 3G equipped models will launch in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April. Pre-orders start on 12 March for the US, though no date was given for the rest of the World.

“iPad is something completely new,” said Apple's love him/hate him CEO Steve Jobs. "We’re excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

Having had some time to cogitate on the iPad since launch I have to admit I still fail to see from where Jobs' excitement stems. The iPad has the same inherent flaws as the iPhone and iPod touch with the bulky, bolt on keyboard impractical and the lack of multi-tasking a huge omission for a platform which claims it can take down the netbook.

Furthermore, the odd choice of the 'micro SIM' card standard means users cannot swap in and out the sims from their existing 3G dongles (surely size wasn't a concern when a standard SIM fits inside the iPhone), memory isn't expandable, there are no USB or Ethernet ports and even GPS is limited to the 3G model. That said, the huge momentum behind the iPhone - and iPhone OS in particular - may still make the iPad a runaway success.

US pricing clocks in at $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB) and $699 (64GB) for the WiFi only edition with 3G a $130 extra, a premium which may have some wincing. That said, iPads cannot be upgraded to include 3G at a later date or connect to a 3G dongle so make your purchase choice carefully. Expect official UK pricing to turn up within the next week or so which may or may not confirm the February leaks that suggest £389, £439 and £489 for the WiFi only models.

In the meantime check out my thorough iPad guide and feel free to praise/flame/contribute to its site record 184 comments!


Press Release

Tim Sutton

March 5, 2010, 9:27 pm


It's such a pointless product I think I've lost the will to flame.


March 5, 2010, 9:39 pm

did it have to be on my sisters birthday?

now she'll never give me peace over this


March 5, 2010, 9:49 pm

@Tim Sutton - brilliant comment. Love it!


March 5, 2010, 10:05 pm

lol @Tim - yes, good one :-)

Here is my take. When it was announced I was very much "meh", sounds pointless. However, I am warming to the concept (not enough to buy yet) but I will explain.

Six months ago my wife wanted her own laptop, so we went and bought one. It is used solely 90% for email and Internet, with the odd bit of word processing. It lives in the lounge and I have lost count of the number of times we are watching something on TV or just in discussion and a question pops up that requires a quick nose on the Net. Up comes the laptop, open it, wake for it to wake up and away we go. The laptop then may be passed around to demonstrate the answer or show a picture or video. I think the iPad would be perfect for this kind of thing.

That's just one example that has got me thinking. I could see that other things like this would make it a very useful device and also it being something you use more as you get into it. Yes, you could do much of this on a netbook as well (and probably more). For this kind of casual use I don't think it matters that it doesn't multi-task or that there is no USB, no expansion, etc. As I say, it is not enough to make me buy one yet, but it has got me thinking and I will be watching how things go through the launch.

(Would be nice to see some sensible debate on this one. Ok, maybe not! Flame away :-P)


March 5, 2010, 10:28 pm

A controversial device, the iPad - I still think it's too early to rule it out though.

Most people understand that the iPhone's *hardware* was always less than revolutionary... but there's far more to the iPhone experience than the technical specifications might suggest.

iPhone doesn't do FLASH, doesn't properly multi-task, doesn't run Java, but has any of this been a big deal for most iPhone users? Hardly, when the app store is overflowing with great apps and content at competitive prices (How many commercial Palm OS apps cost 59p (or less) back in the day?).

If performance is as snappy as advertised, how many people will be that bothered about 'proper' multitasking? A platform that does lots of individual things really well and responsively is preferable to a multi-tasking snail - especially given the iPad's main aims... surfing/email/eBook reading/music/video/gaming... e.g. things to help fill your leisure time, when most of us choose to do one thing we enjoy at a time (ever tried concurrently swimming, eating, reading and watching YouTube videos - not easy).

It could be argued that Palm's WebOS is way ahead of iPhone OS in many respects, yet rightly or wrongly, the majority of the buying public still sees more value in the whole iPhone/iPod proposition. There's a mysterious unquantifiable allure to the whole iPhone product and eco-system that no other manufacturer has yet replicated.

And whilst the iPad may not be the most inspiring lump of technology at launch, given time and the creativity of third-party developers, the idea may prove it has legs... in the correct context, as a fun device, for fun tasks, where traditional work-driven IT rules are less relevant.

Bottom line... there is a market for this thing. It may be a much smaller market than that which the iPhone enjoys, but I think it will click with those that understand the concept I'm calling "Gadget Loungeware".


March 5, 2010, 10:35 pm

It's like the original iPhone in that the bigger screen will allow everyone to fall in love with the UI all over again and overlook the massive omissions. As before, wake me up in two generations' time.


March 5, 2010, 11:00 pm

There was a debate on medical forums whether this would be useful for that area, but I think it's too much of a closed system to be useful in that application.

No one is doubting the concept is good, it's just people expected the ipad to blow away the competition with it's functionality, but people knew what they were in for as soon as they saw the "flash not supported" icons in the demonstration


March 5, 2010, 11:15 pm

The artical states the ipad cannot connect to a 3G dongle but surely it can connect to a MiFi which at £50 from 3 as pay as you go it would be a cheaper option than going for the 3G version of the ipad.


March 5, 2010, 11:24 pm

Nicely balanced Coffee. I've never been all out anti-iPad - I don't think it's as dear as it could have been, I like the option to leave

Wi-Fi, and people say big iPod Touch like it's a bad thing when the Touch has proven to be a pretty nifty mobile computer with a competitive price for flash storage. I just think the the feature set needs to be filled out a bit, as we all know too well how quickly the iPhone 3G and 3Gs superseded its original model.


March 5, 2010, 11:38 pm

@Artic, yes that would be an option


March 5, 2010, 11:51 pm

As a change from meh - yawn....


March 6, 2010, 1:16 am

Had they stuck to the previous release date of late march I was certainly getting one, but one month later? I'd have to reconsider now that there has been some info leaked about the Microsoft Courier. Sorry Apple but you have got to have something hidden to wow me and convince me again. Maybe a camera for instance? But its pretty poor that they say 60 days for Wifi models and now that's obviously not true, the keynotes are losing credibility.


March 6, 2010, 1:20 am

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned that it can't sit at a good angle in your lap.

With the iphone, you can surf the web with your spare hand, or your thumbs if the phone is horizontal.

With this, I can see supporting the thing a task in itself. How do you type with two hands and keep it at a good angle without lugging the stand around with you?

Netbooks do the 'casual surfing whilst sitting' thing very well.


March 6, 2010, 1:44 am

The most interesting aspect for me is whether the iPad will succeed where Tablet PCs have failed. Tablet PCs have had the hardware for years but uptake hasn't been great. I personally, loved being able to take handwritten notes with the very accurate stylus. Is the reason they've not been more widely adopted simply due to a lack of dedicated tablet support in software?

Gareth Burleigh

March 6, 2010, 3:06 am

You know everybody has such a strong opinion despite never having seen an iPad. Wait until you have had an extended play with one and then your entitled to begin forming an opinion. Remember the iPhone getting far worse press and Id say 98% of naysayers have been shut up. If you just hate Apple then thats fine nothing will change that. Just find all this knee jerk dislike makes me think Apple need to go back to the "Ships today" way of doing things


March 6, 2010, 5:27 am

@GoldenGuy - thanks for that... to add even more balance and deflect fan-boy remarks, I'll add one more observation...

My biggest gripe is that Apple didn't stick a multi-format card reader in this thing... just imagine the possibilities!

Anyone with a digital camera on holiday can surely see the potential of an ultra slim, ultra-light, large-screen device capable of viewing & managing their photos, plus uploading the best shots to their favourite online photo service. All this mass-market functionality, in places you wouldn't really want to take a laptop.

I gather that an *external* SD card reader effort is in the works - but surely a device of these dimensions must have a few spare millimetres of slack space for a decent collection of card readers to be internalised? Such a neat and tidy device doesn't need to be weighed down with a ruck-sack full of clunky dongles... and sort of defeats the object of the minimalist design.

The underlying theme is that Apple really need to wake up and learn that not all private content is their enemy... how can their customer's photos hurt their App Store / iTunes / BookStore revenue streams?



March 6, 2010, 8:28 am

Ironically, put that data only SIM in an Apple iTouch and I reckon it would sell like hot cakes.

I've been waiting for a 3G data connected PMP/Email/Web client gadget for years (without phone functions, like the iTouch). That way I would be free to chose my phone independently of a ridiculously long feature list and get one purely based on, well you know, how good a phone it is and what it looks like. All other media tasks / data would be handled by the iTouch.

For me that would be a must have gadget- whoever makes it. (Just keep the data charges somewhere around the £10 "unlimited" per month).


March 6, 2010, 9:08 am

@Steve32: You can do most of what you say with the browser on your mobile phone. Especially videos since ofcourse this device doesn't support the file format favoured by most video publishers - flash.

@Bailey's_Coffee: What is it with Macheads like yourself and purple prose? Most people can browse the web, chat with friends on an instant messaging program and listen to a music streaming program perfectly fine at the same time. They're not particularly difficult tasks that require your full and devoted attention. And these are amongst the very tasks that people will expect to be able to do on device like this and ofcourse at the same time.

As for suggesting people forego their favoured flash or Java websites and instead buy an equivalent app form Apple's store? Do you really expect people to be as gullible as yourself and throw money away needlessly?

Paul 7

March 6, 2010, 2:48 pm

did no-one else instantly see Dom Jolly on the train with one of these??

On a serious note though, the people who do buy it will do so because unlike any windows/linux machine they'll expect it to just work - no drivers to install, no setup, and most casual users don't multi-task, they probably don't even know what it means.


March 6, 2010, 4:31 pm

@Gareth Burleigh

No, not really. I thought the iPhone was amazing as did many when they announced it, and nothing was stopping me from getting one, the day it was on sale was the day i had one in my hand. So I think its fair for me to say I am not as enthusiastic about the iPad being the magical device that they say it is. If I have !spare! cash I'll get one. But you cannot compare the reaction of a revolutionary device with one that is evolutionary. Makes no sense to compare the reaction of the first computer ever built to every other computer thereafter.


March 6, 2010, 7:08 pm

@ffrank - I have an iPod touch, but I just don't enjoy browsing the net on it. The screen is just too small and the whole experience is just too fiddly for me. Browsing on phone is okay for a quick check of the footy scores in the pub, but that is about it for me. I do take your point about Flash though. I really don't understand why they aren't supporting that. As I say, I am warming to the concept of the iPad, but not a definite purchase for me by any means.


March 6, 2010, 7:42 pm

ffrankmccaffery: I think it's pretty clear Bailey's_Coffee is not a "Machead" - note the criticisms in his last comment. I am certainly not among Apple's biggest fans, but seeing some potential in their products does not automatically make one a fanboy/Machead etc.

Anyway, for me the lack of multitasking is something I could live without; it's the lack of any kind of memory card or USB slot that is far less forgiveable (especially since, as Bailey's_Coffee suggested, their omission is a conscious decision to control useage and content with seemingly no benefit to the consumer). If it turns out, as people are increasingly suggesting, that its main use is essentially for searching IMDB or Wikipedia without having to get off the sofa, then I think the naysayers may have been right all along. If only I were allowed to transfer my photos and other media straight to the device on the move, it would be an excellent PMP for travelling in addition to its "lounge" uses.


March 6, 2010, 7:53 pm

Paul: I have to disagree that most casual users do not multitask. Having a music application running in the background while using Facebook, searching Google and opening videos is hardly the preserve of techies...


March 6, 2010, 8:52 pm

iPad? Just check out Microsoft Courier. Blows it out the water.


March 6, 2010, 10:19 pm

I am doing an Open Uni course and the books are all available in PDF format. If I was willing to take the eye damage would I be able to use this to read them?

An e-reader would better but no colour ones that I know of.

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