After seemingly endless months of speculation, the iPad has
finally become a reality. Apple CEO Steve Jobs formally unveiled the company’s
tablet computer today, with a host of features and a surprisingly low retail

The knee-jerk reaction from the Apple faithful, though,
wasn’t as enthusiastic as expected, raising the question of whether the iPad
will be able to succeed at the same level the iPhone and iPod Touch have.

First, though, the good news. When it’s released in 60 days,
the iPad will start at just $499 (for a WiFi enabled 16GB model), significantly
lower than many analysts had forecast. A 32 GB model will cost $599 and a 64GB
version will run $699.

A month later, Apple will begin shipping versions that
include 3G capabilities – with a $130 premium over the WiFi only models. 3G
service will be provided exclusively by AT&T, but will not require a

Apple will offer two plans: 250MB of data per month for $14.99 or unlimited
data for $29.99 per month. Either plan can be activated directly from the iPad.

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