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Apple Inc.: Say Hello to the iPad

New tablet device will launch in March 2010 and sell for $499

Three years after introducing its breakthrough iPhone, Apple Inc. on Jan. 27 unveiled its much-anticipated iPad tablet computer. The iPad is half-inch thick mobile device that CEO Steve Jobs characterized as filling the gap between the laptop and the smartphone.

The product will be available in late March at a starting price of $499 for a 16-gigabyte model. A 32GB model will be available for $599 and the 64GB iPad will cost an additional $100. Users can perform various functions on the application including e-mail, listening to music and reading e-books.

The iPad will come in two versions -- one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. The Wi-Fi and 3G combo will cost an additional $30.

The device also features 12 new apps designed specifically for the iPad and will run almost all of the 140,000-plus apps in the App Store. Jobs referred to the iPad as the company's "most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device."

"iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before," said Jobs in a statement.

Apple Inc.
At A Glance

Apple Inc.
Cupertino, Calif.
Primary Industry: Computers & Other Electronic Products
Number of Employees: 36,800
2008 In Review
Revenue: $36.54 billion
Profit Margin: 14.88%
Sales Turnover: 0.82
Inventory Turnover: 49.90
Revenue Growth: 35.30%
Return On Assets: 19.07%
Return On Equity: 33.27%
The iPad is designed with a 9.7-inch LED-backlit display that features In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology with an ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle. The intelligent soft keyboard that first appeared on the iPhone offers a nearly full-sized soft keyboard.

The announcement came just two days after the company said profit rose 50% over the year-earlier period on increased sales of its iPhones. Profit reached $3.38 billion, or $3.67 a share, compared with $2.26 billion, or $2.50 a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased to $15.68 billion, up from $11.88 billion in first-quarter 2009.

The company sold 8.7 million iPhones, a 100% increase over the year-ago quarter. The company also sold 3.36 million Macintosh computers, a 33% increase. iPod sales declined 8% to 21 million units sold during the quarter.

"If you annualize our quarterly revenue, it's surprising that Apple is now a $50 billion-plus company," said Jobs when earnings were released. "The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we're really excited about."

In the second quarter the company expects revenue to be between $11 billion and $11.4 billion, with earnings per share in the $2.06 to $2.18 range, said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer.

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