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back to article Apple's iPad - fat iPhone without the phone

Steve Jobs succeeded in surprising no one. The Apple CEO took to a San Francisco stage Wednesday morning to announce Apple's latest effort to change the face of mobile computing, and even the device's name was no surprise. The Reg first dubbed Apple's impending tablet the "iPad" last October. Essentially a beefed-up iPod touch …

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Badgers

This isn't it....

OK, so now I'm confused.

Uncle Steve is building Tarmacing half of North Carolina to pubish e-books?

I think not. I can smell a "Version 2 free upgrade running on the same hardware" rat - This isn't the finished product. Nice it may be but as it stands it's got no killer app.

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g e
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Underwhelming

Soooooo, apart from screen size & CPU power it's the same as my HTC Magic Android phone but less convenient unless you like using one arm to carry it around or are into manbags. Does it even allow phone calls over that carrier connection?

Oh, same apart from camera, 3G/HSDPA as standard, GPS, multitasking and no lock-in to the manufacturer's stores.

Really don't see the attraction for non fanbois, especially at those prices.

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Dead Vulture

What on earth is all the fuss about?

It's basically a large iPod Touch with the option of 3G. Not a bad idea in and of itself I grant you but not deserving of all this broo-ha-ha. If HTC or Motorola or anyone else other than Apple had released this device it would not be generating one tenth of the press coverage.

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Anonymous Coward

yawn

I've seen more exciting toasters.

Everything about this thing is so inescapably mediocre. The specs, the appearance, the software, the price. Even the name is average (erring on the wrong side of average if you ask me).

It has about as many features as a toaster as well.

What does it do? "it runs iPhone apps minus the phone related stuff" wow who cares, does it do anything good? "It runs a cut down version of some jokey DTP software" I said does it do anything good? "You can read ebooks on it" Aren't ebooks supposed to be SMALLER? "umm... it has a touch screen" Is it good for typing with? "No but there is a webcam, oh wait we left that out *runs*"

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Optional 3G

El Reg said "It also struck The Reg as odd that 3G connectivity is a $130 option."

Consider that comment to be thumbed up.

Dispicable, underhanded and ultimately shortsighted money making scheme there.

The thing is, I've been waiting for a nice hand held portable touch screen device with a 3G connection and a package that offers me unlimited 3G or 3.5G internet. I'd go pre pay and pay £15 a month for that.

The i-Pad is too big for that, and has no 3G connection. Other touch screen tablet makers will bring out 3G as standard, and with OLED screens to boot. With any luck, they will eventually successfully emulate what Apple did which made their i-phone and i-pod touch so successful; the apps store.

Nokia's Ovi apps store is a joke, I would suppose Microsoft wouldn't have much on offer, so that leaves Google to make a Google-Pad. Mozilla may also bring out something cool, but that isn't as likely as Google bringing out their glorious portable advertising device.

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WTF?

I just don't get it

Why would any one want one of these? What can you use it for? What "gaps" in the market does it fill?

Netbooks are cheaper, have more storage and expansion (something Apple avoids). The list is endless.

You can also plug your own Vodafone/O2/3 dongle into it, for £30, not the crazy prices Apple are charging

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Alert

Dead 3G

If this is popular it might eat x4 the data per user of an iPhone.

If it used on 3G instead of Broadband to view video, then the 3G networks will die at peak time (< 200kbps or even 50kbps), though to an extent the Data Cap will manage Contention. Networks with 1G Cap per month /30days will be much better performance than 10G download cap.

If you watch near HD quality video streaming, then 3G can support on average 3 users per Mast! The 7.2, 14.4, 21 and 42Mbps speeds are Sector PEAK speed for a single connected user with a perfect signal. Actual average throughput on a real sector changes by less than 2% moving from 3.6Mbps HSPDA to 21Mbps HSPA+ as the higher speeds need ever better signal and all 15 CDMA codes (i.e. only one connected user).

With more than 15 simultaneous connections on a sector the speed and latency goes to hell. Latency can rise to over 1200ms (compared to 120ms with a couple of connections) and speed drop to 50kbps. By the time all CDMA codes are in use the 3G cell can shrink to 1/4 size and the average throughput can drop to less than half. The big advantage of WiMax and LTE is thus not the peak speed, but virtually no loss of efficiency or cell shrinkage under load (i.e. 20 simultaneous streams might get 1/20 of speed). Though the peak speeds on LTE & WiMax are also best signal and one user. Real life for one user is typically 1/4 to 1/8th of peak with one user, and divide by number of simultaneous connections.

You need WiFi and decent uncapped real Broadband to watch Video.

Or get a 2T byte PVR and record ALL the channels at once off air on rotating 2 week loop, watch whatever you want on real HDTV or on the Gadget.

Did I mention that with multiple users, through a Wall, even 802.11n can't do true HD? Which is why BTvision installs Ethernet over Power Comtrend (PLT) adaptors.

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Flame

we were talking about it at work....

....and we've figured out who this product is for. It's for girls.

1) It will fit in a handbag

2) It has an eBook reader

3) It gives a simple way to look at the internet without fear of viruses or needing a man to tell you what to do

4) It won't ever make that "BONK! You must be an idiot!" noise that Windows makes when it hits an error

5) Your husband will never scream "don't click there, click there. NO, THERE!"

And these things may not sound like much to a geek like me, but to someone who hates computers like my mum and my sister, it turns computing from an umpleaseant to a pleasant experience. I'm just not sure the form factor is right. A netbook style could give the same user experience, but then there's a £60 keyboard for that.

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My sources say no

CJ 1-

Your theory sounded promising, so I showed the promo video to my wife and her friend. They'd never heard about it before and I didn't say anything other than it was released recently and I wanted to know what they thought about it. At first they thought I meant the guy talking about not understanding magic, but after I clarified I meant that silver spinning thing, they were disappointed, but watched the whole thing.

They're not technical by any stretch of the imagination, but they immediately picked up on most of the same things as us commentards.

The good:

It's cute, and looks simple to understand. 10 hour of battery life seems pretty good. They thought the gestures, UI eye candy, and the e-book reader were cool. Maybe it would be nice to read a magazine on the train.

The bad:

It's too big to fit in a purse and carry around. Looks kinda heavy. Where do you put it while you're typing? Who would want to watch a movie while holding it? They also thought it might be nice to Skype with somebody on the couch, until I told them about the lack of camera.

Overall, they weren't impressed, and said they wouldn't want one. They were shocked at the price tag. So, it's a sample size of only two, but my findings show that it doesn't appeal to girls.

Also, I understand from other websites that many women don't like the name due to its...connotations, so there's another strike against it.

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oh I dunno

As much as I had hope for it (I hoped it would run an unlocked OS X as default, see the hitler ipad video), I am a little dissapointed.

I won't buy it, but as I have said before Apple's UI for a touch screen honestly is second to none but their DRM sucks and they have crippled the iPhone, iTouch and now this.

Other people don't see this however, judging by sales of the iTouch they will buy an iPhone sans phone, it looks like they will buy any shit, including this.

This will sell.

I am concerned enough that I will be looking at objective-C to see what I can reap off this platform even though I will say it again, I HATE apples implementation and locked down OS. Fuck you, Apple.

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$130 vs £30

A £30 3G Modem aka Dongle, unsubsidized can cost more than $130.

Without subsidy, or lock to a Mobile Network, $130 for add-on 3G is about right.

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Mage

Tethering to your mobile phone will fix it.

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Anonymous Coward

Where are you shopping??!

at $130 you're approaching the territory where you get a free phone attached to your 3g receiver. When you're buying them by the g'zillion as Apple are, I'd imagine that they are seeing more than a $100 markup on $130 tag.

As a slight aside, branded network ones that you see int'supermarket fro £30 aren't usually network locked so I'm dubious as to how subsidised (if at all) they are?

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Wrong name?

iBad surely.

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Anonymous Coward

Alternative

iFad even.

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Why bother ?

We have a (linux) AA1 here as the "coffee table" machine. Ok, no touch screen, but it wifi's to the home router, runs anything *nix, supports flash / java / any web page I've tried, has 2 x SD cards, multitasks, recognises my USB drives, etc., etc.

And you can tilt the screen to a sensible angle.

And it has a forward facing cam for skype.

And I have a 3rd party broadband dongle for using on holidays, with a cheap multi-Gb data plan.

Finally, it was cheap as chips, with a universe of free software.

So apart from the touch screen (I hate touch screens - fingerprints meh), what does an iPad do that my AA1 can't ?

ebooks ? the missus has a palm and loves it : it fits in a pocket, and can be read in the sunlight.

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Jobs Halo

Re: Why Bother

We have a Linux AA1 as well. Somewhere. Gathering dust.

Yes, in theory it can do all those things, but frankly, does them badly. In the end, I found that if it was quick email/web type stuff, we'd use my iPod Touch. If it was the more computery things, I'd walk over to my laptop.

The netbook was just too fiddly and too much of a pain in the arse to use.

I think the iPad will be the opposite. Yes the lack of iChat/Skype is a real let down. Yes I'd prefer it if I could multi-task 3rd party apps (though I'm struggling to think of any show stopper for this). But for every other bit of 'casual' use, I think it'll be bang on.

Do I need it? No? Do I /need/ half the crap in my house? Hell no. Fortunately, I live near the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, so can spend my money on unnecessary for lovely stuff!

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Stop this nonsense NOW!!

I have a laptop, a 5 year old Acer Travelmate, which allows me to write grumbly letters and e-mails, browse the reg and other news sources and do 'computery things, its very good at these tasks being a dedicated computery device. I have 2 cameras, one DSLR and one HDCamcorder for taking photos, they are also very good at performing their tasks being photography devices. I also (sadly) have a mobile phone, a Nokia 6310i also about 5 years old which allows other people to disturb me when I am doing computery or photoy things. It is very good at being a phone because it was built for that purpose. Similarly my mp3 player, which plays noises.

Why do I want a peice of crap which 'sort of' does computery things, sort of does musicy things, doesn't do photoy things, won't allow people to disturb my grumbly mutterings, is the size of a laptop weighs about the same as a laptop and has only 2 - 3 times the battery life of a laptop?

I DO want an e-book reader. It should display books, allow me to make annotations and bookmark the same, be expandable to hold all the books I will buy over the next 20 yeaars (like my analogue bookshelf) have a battery life to allow me to take it on holiday for 2-3 weeks, be light in weight, thin, have a touch screen UI and let me skip back and forth by page number. It doesn't need to try to be a phone/camera/laptop or for that matter a flaming supository. This is the last piece in my technology jigsaw.

Am I alone in the simplicity of my desires?

AND...

'According to Apple, the iPad syncs with Apple's iTunes software using the same 30-pin dock connector as does the iPhone and iPod. However, it remains unclear whether third-part accessories designed for those handhelds will work with the iPad.'

Like to see you shoehorn one of these johnnies into my third party accessory IPod dock.

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Luckly for Apple...

...your peculiar ability, nominally referred to as 'common sense', is sadly lacking in this world...

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FAIL

Ok I don't get it.

What is the point of these devices?

Its the size of a small laptop, has less functionality than a laptop and is made by one of the most restrictive software / hardware companies in the world.

Whats so good about it? what does it do that my laptop doesn't? oh I get it - its fluffy and made by Apple - it MUST be good.

I know what I will be using though :

A laptop funnily enough.

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Grenade

No, you don't get it

Its a computer for non-technical people.

A computer that doesn't require its users to spend an age learning about how to make it work.

A computer that doesn't require its users to have to manage virus checkers and where they need to go to patch all of the bits of software they have installed.

A computer that isn't as flexible as the Unix system that I'm using now, or any general purpose laptop or desktop, but a computer nonetheless.

If you don't understand why this will be attractive to people and work in IT please either:

a) find a clue stick and repeatedly apply it to your head until you do

or

b) find a different industry to work in.

I have had to help relatives with their PCs. Starting them up and launching a browser to download patches more often than not I'm greeted with a browser with toolbars from MS Live, Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. Often all installed at once. They don't know how they got there, they don't know if they are important, and wouldn't know how to get rid of them anyway. That is the sorry state of general purpose computing today.

There are many people that just want to access the web, manage their email, and maybe do something with the photos they took at Christmas. To these people a simplified computer interface with centralised patching and updates isn't something to be pooh poohed, its what they are looking for. The massive lack of realization of this around the IT industry is the most worrying thing about the reaction to the iPad.

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does it fit?

where are you supposed to put this 'mobile' device, especially in the summer when it's hot and people walk around with shorts and t-shirts on.

is this mobile device just designed for the home? not very mobile.

also, having the laptop sitting on your lap when on the sofa is easy - you dont have to hold anything. but how will this work, you'll always have to hold it like a baby?

i can't see these tablets catching on, but you never know...

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Re: does it fit?

You forget that the owners of these devices will have them on parade almost constantly, obviating the need for anything so quaint as "somewhere to put it".

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Jobs Halo

watch the video

seriously, i hated it at first.

but watch the promo video, you've gotta admit it's tempting......

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Bronze badge

jesuPad, joy of man's desiring?

So no phone. Can we get a VoIP app? I know it will look a bit 1980s to be holding this up to my ear, but that's better than to be shouting at it on my knees.

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Non Apple-Boy Tempted Here

I like it. I'm not an Apple fan by any means - used an iPhone for six months as it was a work issued device. As a phone I thought it was very, very lacking. But as an entertainment device I thought it was very good.

Now this is just an iPod Touch but grown up. No, I'd never use it to watch movies and it certainly wouldn't be my music player, but.....

Photos - having them in something like this would be great when visiting family, etc. Certainly better than the screen of my Android phone.

E-Reader - I don't want to read books on an electronic device, and if I did then I'd want something a bit smaller....BUT what about the magazine and newspaper market? I never buy a newspaper but WOULD sign up for a couple of quid per month to have a daily paper emailed direct to my device. And magazines - an electronic subscription pushed direct to a device with a nice full colour screen....yes please.

It's not the kind of device I see myself carrying aroundfor work - I have a perfectly nice small laptop for that. But it IS the kind of device that would be sat next to me on the sofa of an evening ready for emailing, browsing, Tweeting, etc.

If they network at all, then one for each of the family would be great....if they shared calendars, etc.

Two major things though....no Flash support and no multi-tasking?

I hope that they are coming in iPhone OS4.x and that it filters through to the iPad. No Flash means a lot of the browsing I might do would be out - no games in Facebook for a start! And not being able to have a Twitter client auto-fetch updates every ten minutes, while I browse or sort my email, will be a bit of a pain.

Lack of 3G - perfect. Use WiFi at home anyway.

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Do not underestimate this

Just as the iPhone was a success I have a funny feeling so will this thing be.

I will not be buying one on a number of counts:

1. Locked down OS, like the iPhone

2. Locked down OS, like the iPhone

3. Locked down OS, like the iPhone

It would have been nice to have something like an OS X netbook but I guess apple has to protect its line of lappies, eh?

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Gates Halo

Utterly worthless

I can't see a situation where I'd ever want one. Ever. I still need to carry my phone and I can browse on that. I'll keep my phone and Sony reader thanks.

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Stop

Message from earth

This is not a computer. Repeat after me. NOT a computer.

Considering how previous tablets have been doing, this should be a good point. If you have something of that size, and without keyboard, you should not try to use it as a computer.

You do not open 10 different apps on that. It is meant for simple stuff. Watching videos, pictures,

sending e-mails, and surfing the web, one web page at a time. If you have these simple needs, the iPad is all you need, and it is probably easier to use than a netbook.

Of course, most readers of the Register want a computer, because they like to fiddle with things. Well, this product is not for you. There are thousands of products that are not meant to appeal to you. Deal with it.

Honestly, the only glaring option that is missing in my opinion is the camera for video calls. That will be for the next version, probably.

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Jobs Halo

to all earthlings

Spot on, not a computer, it's a consumer device made by a company that dropped "Computers" from its title some while ago.

Consumer device is about the best I can do without generating a long list, so iPad is good enough.

Get on the train - it's coverage for the "store". If you're comfortable with full fat "computers" you are channelled in from iMacs & Macbooks (plus Windows), if "mobile" is your thing you are channelled in from iPod Touch & iPhone and the "netbook" form factor guys now have their thing.

The device is the hook, the tel/cellco is the line (and only the line), the store is the sinker. Steve's got ya!

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Jobs Horns

Go back to your own planet

Steve has got the idiots only

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FAIL

Pointless waste of money

What utter rubbish, when will Apple learn that they need to start allowing things like Flash on their devices, they're only holding themselves back by doing this and as for itunes, what a pile of s... that is, why can't they just be like every other mp3 player and be able to drag and drop files, it's such a pain to get other mp3's that i've brought elsewhere onto my iphone. untill they change issues like these, the ipad may as well start digging it's grave now.

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Joke

when will apple learn

You made me laugh a bit there. Apple really do need to learn a trick or two don't they. They seem to get it wrong all the time....

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WTF?

I don't see the point...

...of the 3G versions. These things come with WiFi: Just get a MiFi router and Robert's your mother's brother, with the added bonus that Apple can't dictate to your choice of networks.

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Anonymous Coward

hmmm...

that's an awful lot of potential screen to scratch there... with no lid.

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FAIL

Old news

Seems like someone had the foresight to see the iPad over 3 years ago!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFNQE_TzQNI&feature=player_embedded#

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FAIL

Utter Rubbish & pointless

When will Apple learn that I want a wine chiller cabinet and a pizza oven (wood fired) and I want them to work at the same time.

How am I going to live?

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Education, Education, Education.

I think this will be big in education.....eventually.

In education, not being able to run many apps simultaneously is a godsend.

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FAIL

promo video

I watched the promo video and one of the guys says "the best movie watching experience". Seriously?? That guy should go to a cinema, he would be blown away!!

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YES

Fucking, FUNNY!!

COTW

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iPenisExtension

These are the devices of conspicuous consumption, used to compensate for a lack of personality or beauty in the holder. Think about it - by not being pocketable the owners will be able to swing it around and show it off - by design.

The only thing more desirable would be to burn the price tag into it with a laser "YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH I PAID FOR HALF OF A NETBOOK."

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Agree

Timo's nailed it. No point downvoting it.

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WTF?

hmmmmm

Looking at the specs, my first thought is - What, no usb port?? I can't plug in anything I like???

My second thought is - Will this thing let me bring up a terminal?? Can I put gcc on it and compile my own stuff??

God Damn it, I was hoping this thing would run snow leopard not some "simple" ipod os. Another poster got it right. This is NOT A COMPUTER

What it really looks like is something that finds your wallet and drains it every month with apps, iBooks, iTunes, and leaves you iBankrupt

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Happy

Tribal Rock Love in.

We're all encased in sonic armor

Beltin' it out through chrome grenades

Miles and miles of medusan chord

The electronic sonic boom

It's what's happening baby

it's where it's at daddy

They chain ya and brainwash ya

When you least suspect it

They feed ya mass media

The age is electric

Hair-1960's

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WTF?

Screen resolution?

1024x768 is kinda stingy for this screen size and price. Most websites are 1024 or wider these days, and e-books or HD video at that res on a screen that big are not going to look too slick. 1280x1024 or 1280x800 would have been nicer. And the lack of camera is another obvious marketing ploy to get the fanbois to shell out for Mark II next year, a la the feature-crippled first-gen iPhone.

But then it's just a toy. Even if it didn't have a proper OS, full web functionality and a removable battery, every ponytailed twat here in the Bay Area would still rush out and buy one. Oh, wait...

P.S. I can't wait to hear about the tidal wave of RTMs for cracked screens and the like, as per every other new Apple product.

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Unhappy

Jack of

all ^H^H^H some trades

Master of none.

No multitasking in 2010 - yer right!

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Paris Hilton

all I read is ...

... pain, pain, pain.

In this case I am sorry to say I do not feel your pain at all.

Not in the least, slightest or teeniest wee bit :-)

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Content is the key.

Assuming the iPad is as practical as Apple says it is (can I read on a train or bus in rapidly varying light?) and it really does have a full days’ worth of battery life then this product will rise or fall on the content available on it and the business model behind that content. Can I get my daily newspaper ‘delivered’ to my iPad every day? Can the publisher of that newspaper deliver it to me via the iBook store and thus avoid making the content available on the web and having Google aggregate it? Will Apple allow my newspaper as delivered via the iBook store to carry, say, Microsoft advertising?

Will I be able to buy an annual subscription to a magazine via the iBook store? Or will I have to buy each issue of my favorite magazines separately each month? This matters to publishers because subscription revenue is more predictable than ad hoc sales revenue. It also matters because subscriber numbers as well as ‘circulation’ figures sell ad space.

Will the iBook store, like the App store for developers, make it possible for individuals to publish books, magazines and newsletters directly? How will this go over with the publishing establishment?

It is the answers to these sorts of questions that will make or break the iPad.

...And by the way; if its an iPAD will you be able to draw a free hand sketch on it? Will you be able to import that sketch into the iPad version of iWork? Will add-ons like Mathtype (allows you to write mathematical symbols) be available for the iPad version of iWork? If add-ons like this are not available the iPad will be seriously limited in the education sector - which will leave netbook vendors vastly relieved.

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Coat

Asus to the rescue?

I really hope the forthcoming Asus offering blows this pile of crap out of the water. But oh no it won't. Even if it is miles better it doesn't have the Apple logo on it.

Quite.

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Black Helicopters

What a device

The world biggest ipod.

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