Apple intends to sell its upcoming tablet computer on the Web and its own retail locations. In addition, those who want to try out an Apple iPad before they buy one will have the option of going to a Best Buy store.
Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, says that his company will offer this device at stores that work closely with Apple, and specifically mentioned Best Buy. This will give far more options for those who prefer to get their hands on products before they purchase them — while Apple has a few retail stores, Best Buy has over a thousand.
He did not say whether AT&T stores will be offering the iPad. Some versions of the iPad will be able to connect to this wireless carrier’s 3G service for high-speed data transfers, but it won’t have support for making voice calls.
An Overview of the Apple iPad
The iPad is Apple’s answer to the popularity of netbooks. It’s a device for someone who wants more functionality than a smartphone, but also wants a device that’s more portable than a laptop.
Apple will also offer a Keyboard Dock for typing (see image at right), and the iPad will also support the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard.
This tablet computer will run the iPhone OS on a 1 GHz processor, and come with a suite of software for browsing the Web, exchanging e-mail, and watching video, as well as a calendar and address book.
It will also be able to run third-party software written for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as apps created specifically for this device.
There will be versions of the Apple iPad with a range of built-in storage: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB.
All versions will sport Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth, plus customers will have the option to add AT&T 3G service to their tablet for an addition up-front cost and monthly fee.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the iPad will start at $500 for the version with 16 GB of capacity and no 3G access, and go up to the 64 GB version with 3G that will sell for $830.
Apple will start selling the non-3G versions in late March, and the 3G-enabled ones about a month later.