Update: Apple unveils the iPad
Positioning the company as the world leader in mobile devices, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a much-anticipated tablet computer on Wednesday, "the iPad," defining it as something that's "better than the laptop, better than the smart phone."
Apple's much-anticipated event took place Wednesday morning, West Coast time, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It was perhaps the most-hyped event in Apple's recent history, thanks to the intense speculation surrounding the tablet launch.
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As hype reaches a fever pitch, technophiles around the world are breathlessly awaiting the unveiling of Apple's electronic tablet.
Blogs are speculating about every aspect of the device, including size, screen, connectivity, apps and name. Early reports suggest it will have a 10-inch colour screen, connect to the Internet over 3G wireless networks and WiFi, and run all of today's iPhone applications.
Tech executive Jason Calacanis has claimed via Twitter that he has been testing the tablet for two weeks, but some have suggested his claims may be a hoax.
"steve jobs outdid himself, its greatest device ever!!!" Mr. Calacanis tweeted Tuesday night. He also said: "Off to bed, but I assure you I'm not joking and the specs are real.... Most of all that this is best gadget ever made and NOT overhyped."
Among Mr. Calacanis' claims: The tablet has facial recognition, a built-in HDTV tuner and digital video recorder, two cameras, video conferencing, thumb pads and fingerprint security, wireless Internet connection to other tablets and a solar pad for recharging.
Twitter is abuzz with name suggestions. Among the top 10 trending topics early Wednesday are "Apple Tablet", "iSlate" and "iTablet." Some have also suggested iPad, an obvious play on iPod.
On Tuesday, McGraw-Hill CEO Harold McGraw spoke on CNBC and appeared to confirm speculation that Apple Inc. will indeed unveil a tablet computer running on iPhone software on Wednesday. Several blogs interpreted his brief comments as stealing Apple CEO Steve Jobs' thunder.
In stoking the hype, Apple has said only that it is to launch "a major new product" that Mr. Jobs says he and his colleagues are "really excited about."
A website following the development of Apple's tablet, islate.org , predicted: "History will be divided into BT - before tablet and AT - after tablet."
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