iPad, iBooks, iAwesome?

As some of you may have heard, Apple had their big tablet announcement today. What? Apple tablet announcement? Crazy, I know. And, no, Steve Jobs didn’t ride out on a unicorn as we all (ok, maybe only the BookNetters) had hoped.

Here’s a breakdown of the details plus a more extensive look at the ebook element:

  • Name: iPad
  • Basics: The iPhone/iPod Touch and the MacBook got together and had a lovechild. “So, it’s like a giant iPod Touch?” - kind of
  • Specs: 9.7 inch screen, .5 inches thin, and 1.5lbs, 10 hour battery life, 30 day standby time, multi-touch
  • Price: $499 US to start (16GB: $499 Wi-Fi only, +3G at $629; 32GB: $599 Wi-Fi only, +3G at $729; 64GB: $699 Wi-Fi only, +3G at $829)
  • Shipping in: 60 days for Wi-Fi only; 90 days with 3G
  • Carrier deals: AT&T in the US at $14.99 per month for 250MB of data and an unlimited plan at $29.99 per month; international deals expected in June/July, but iPad 3G models are unlocked and they use GSM microSIMs.
  • Features: Here’s the official Apple Features list , but basically it has a built in keyboard like the iPhone with a dock for a ‘real’ keyboard, web, mail, video, photos, music, iWork, apps (both current iPhone apps as well as new iPad apps), and booksyes, BOOKS!
  • Things it doesn’t have: camera, phone, multitasking, flash support


Ok, here’s the news the publishing industry has been waiting for. Yes, Apple is getting into the ebook game. The book app has been named iBook and will use the ePub standard. No news yet on DRM, but we’ll update as soon as we hear.

Here’s a video of the app in action from the Self-Publishing Review , and the first reviews are very positive:

“The ebook implementation is about as close as you can get to reading without a stack of bound paper in your hand. The visual stuff really helps flesh out the experience. It may be just for show, but it counts here. “Engadget’s Apple iPad first hands-on!

The iBooks app will let users buy and download books through the iPad. Apple is launching a new iBookstore that currently has content from Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group. From the demo, it looks like US prices are currently between $8.00 and $15.00, but as of right now content is not available in Canada.