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The bad news: It’s called the iPad. The good news: It’s here, at last.

January 27, 2010

The real deal. Finally.

Steve Jobs presented the long-awaited Apple e-reader today, as expected. Few thought he’d give it a lame name like the iPad, but still, it’s here. Cost: $499 for a Wifi model; $130 more for a 3G model that accesses the web through AT&T, $29.99 a month for unlimited data.

The thing runs all the apps available at the App Store, and iPad-exlusive apps are in development. The device comes preloaded with a long list of stuff, including Safari, Maps, Yahoo, Video, YouTube, iPhone and much more.

Jobs announced a new iBook Store, already partnered with Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette Book Group. I wonder how nervous Jeff Bezos is today over at Amazon?

Apple has worked out a new format with The New York Times, leading the way to what a lot of people hope will provide a sustainable future for newspapers.

For more details, go to Brainstorm Tech: Washington Post, About.com (which says it “looks like a very large iPhone”); Phones Review (“Slightly disappointed, to tell you the truth”); infosync  world (“iPhone on steroids”); MTV (“Everything You Need to Know”).

Will this thing save civilization, specifically the book, the written word, publishing and newspapers? No idea. But I’m pretty sure nothing will be the same once it starts shipping in 60 days.

What do you think?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 5:53 pm

    If it won’t fit in my back pocket, what good is it?

  2. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    January 27, 2010 9:10 pm

    Terri, you’re not the first to make that observation. The New York Times or somebody, can’t quite remember who, had a whole story about that very thing over the weekend.

  3. Tommy permalink
    January 27, 2010 9:16 pm

    What do I think? I think it’s all much ado about nothing. It is stupid. And iPad is a horrible name, that conjures up thoughts of sanitary napkins. I will call anyone who owns one a padiphile.

    It’s good to be back.

    No, I hope this device does stir up interest for reading in folks who otherwise wouldn’t partake in the joy that is books.

  4. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    January 27, 2010 11:04 pm

    Tommy, I am beginning to think that you are a young fogey. That’s a compliment, by the way. “Padiphile” — very clever.

    I’m resisting the temptation to say I’ll never own one, but I’ve had too many collisions with hubris to make that mistake. I can’t afford any more points on my karmic insurance policy.

    Like some others I fear the iPad and other e-readers will provide so many distractions they divert people from books instead of driving attracting new readers. I hope I’m wrong.

    My biggest hope for this device is that it will enable newspapers and magazines to finally crack the digital code that allows them to stay in business. Not betting the farm, but fingers are crossed.

  5. Tommy permalink
    January 28, 2010 12:17 am

    Thank you for calling my new word clever. Also, Thank you for calling me young. And I take fogey with pride.

    The clever compliment really has weight since I have read your past blogs and you sir are a wit. Especially the last couple of blogs (which I missed because of technological failures, it seems step 11 in the troubleshooting of electronic devices is NOT smash said device on floor to shake out gremlins)

    Being on forced sabbatical from the online world, I read more. I also turned to my trusted pad (sans “i”) and pen. My question now is, how will more technology save lit?

    Books rule, padiphiles drool!

    Also books, pen and paper are not susceptible to thermo-nuclear devices, so 1 more point for the old way of doing things.

    Rachel this world scares me too, maybe Chauncey will let us stay at his farm. What do you call this farm Chaunce? Mabelline Ranch?

    • Karla permalink
      January 30, 2010 4:57 am

      I like Mabelline Ranch personally

  6. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    January 28, 2010 1:51 am

    The farm has no name, other than Grandma’s House. If you can wield hoe, can vegetables, patch a fence, bale hay, chop wood, and, oh yeah, carry water, then maybe we can find a bunk for you. Perhaps we should rechristen it Analogue Farm, in honor of your refreshed acquaintance with pen and paper.

    If the iPad saves books (and newspapers), it will be through new pricing arrangements that enable them to stay in business, and new formats that allow them to reach digital readers more directly. Or something. Maybe I’m a dreamer.

  7. Tommy permalink
    January 28, 2010 3:21 am

    You’re not the only one.

    http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/blog/2010/01/how-will-the-ipad-change-education/
    Found this article on the iPad’s potential role in education, which warmed me slightly to this doodad.

    “If you can wield hoe, can vegetables, patch a fence, bale hay, chop wood, and, oh yeah, carry water,” Jeez, this city mouse is tired from just reading my list of chores. Can’t we get robots for all that. Simple life, huh?

  8. January 28, 2010 8:16 am

    It looks like something you could eat off of at a picnic. Unfortunately it is here and I will have to use it. It just may save the news paper industry also. Every one will follow with other machines.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      January 28, 2010 5:38 pm

      Rise of the Machines. Sounds like a dystopian sci-fi movie. Oh, wait: It is.

  9. Connie permalink
    January 28, 2010 8:39 am

    Unlike Terri, I don’t want to read a book or newspaper on something that fits in my back pocket (that’s what I have an iPod for). Despite the hideous name – really, didn’t they have any women in the group that decided what to call it?! – I look at it, and I want one (the same effect most Apple products have one me). Wait til it comes out in purple; I’ll be a goner. Right now the price is a bit steep, and only a crazy person buys the first generation anyway, but I’ll keep my eye on it.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      January 28, 2010 5:40 pm

      When I look at it — the picture anyway — I want to turn it sideways. I can’t imagine it’s comfortable reading off a thing like that. Of course, once I see a real one, the ergonomics will probably be self-evident.

  10. January 28, 2010 9:37 am

    We’re such a weird culture. It’s just another piece of technology. We’d hype anything.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      January 28, 2010 11:22 am

      I couldn’t agree more, Pat, but given Apple’s track record with the personal computer, the iPod and the iPhone, this could be the “just another piece of technology” that makes a difference — for good or ill.

  11. Candice Simmons permalink
    January 28, 2010 10:16 am

    Chauncey Mabe–if you are a dreamer, you’re not the only one.

    The Coming of the iPad–oh happy day. Oh happy happy day. Unless, of course, you don’t believe the hype.

  12. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    January 28, 2010 11:23 am

    I didn’t believe the hype about the iPod. I didn’t believe the hype about the iPhone. I was wrong in both cases…

  13. rachel permalink
    January 28, 2010 11:45 am

    I guess it had to be a p. iPod. iPhone. iPad.

    dumb dumb dumb.

  14. Candice Simmons permalink
    January 28, 2010 12:17 pm

    It is the end of the world as we know it…

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      January 28, 2010 5:41 pm

      That world is dead and gone. It just doesn’t quite know it yet. But it’s squirming uncomfortably. Dead world walking.

  15. January 28, 2010 1:28 pm

    Its the end of the world as we know it, it the end of the world as we know it,, but I feel fine.

  16. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    January 28, 2010 5:42 pm

    Like Elvis, I’m not feeling so great myself.

  17. Karla permalink
    January 30, 2010 4:54 am

    good news my ass

  18. February 1, 2010 7:55 pm

    Hey nice blog you are making =)
    I think i gonny follow you now!
    Visit mine if u like Ipad =)

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