SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- The Apple iPad generated a lot of hype with its unveiling today and TheStreet contributor Jason Schwarz offered the following blow-by-blow commentary directly from the unveiling event (presented in chronological order).
The lights just went down...It's exciting to be here in San Francisco at the live Apple event. The only thing I can compare it to is to a big game. I was at the 1988 World Series game when Gibson hit the game winning homerun, I was at the Yankees v. Red Sox game when Jeter made 'the catch', and I was at the last Celtics v. Lakers game in the old Boston Garden when Van Exel hit the game winning three. This Apple event has the same kind of vibe.
ITunes, Google maps, YouTube, TV shows, and movies. Time for Steve to show us the iPad. It is so much more intimate than a laptop and more capable than a smartphone. Steve is now demoing the Web browser at NY Times....
50 million visitors to Apple stores last quarter, showing the new stores...
Apple actually invented laptops with the PowerBooks. Apple reinvented the phone with the iPhone. Everybody uses these mobile devices. Is there room for a product in between?
This new device needs to be better at browsing the Web. Better at email. Better with photos, video, music, games, and eBooks...
Also includes built in slideshows. He is showing off the oragami slideshow that can mix 3 or 4 photos at a time. This is taking a capability that was previously reserved for the desktop and has turned it mobile.
The iPad is very thin. Can be personalized. What this device does is extraordinary. The Web browsing is phenomenal. Can be manipulated with fingers. Can turn it anyway you want and it adjusts. You hold the Internet in your hands...
He is showing off the email functionality. The way your fingers type looks the same as if you were using a netbook...
Phenomenal for mail. Digital keyboard is a dream to type on.
Wonderful way to share photos with friends and family. The iPad does look just like an oversized iPod Touch...
Interesting that Steve is highlighting the Google maps and Google street views. Google still has a spot in AppleWorld!
Now he is flicking through photos that can be imported from any PC or Mac. The user interface for the photos is intuitive; can separate them by events, albums, faces, or places.
Now we are seeing the music demo. The calendars demo. And the maps demo. Nothing new here...
|Steve Jobs unveils the new Apple iPad
Now watching Steve's favorite sequence of one of his favorite movies ever... Pixar's "UP."
He is now showing HD YouTube clips. It looks amazing! The screen size makes mobile movie watching ideal. We're watching Star Trek.
That gives a little overview of what the iPad can do. Watching is nothing like getting in right in your hands. hardware overview: 0.5 inches thin. 1.5 pounds. 9.87 inch iPS display. Smaller and lighter
than any netbook. Full capacity multi-touch. 1 ghz Apple A4 chip.
Apple's own custom chip. 16, 32, or 64 GB Flash storage.
What is the battery life?? Huge applause for his announcement of 10 hours of battery life. Can watch video the whole way from SF to Tokyo. It also has a month of standby.
Now Scott Forstall is taking the stage to show off some software capabilities.
Apps can be run at iphone size or iPad size. How about games? He's showing the X Games app. Scott is sitting in Steve's chair. It looks like they are trying to show us that this is a living room, sit down, comfortable device.
Full screen looks the same even with graphically-intense games...
When you buy your iPad you can simply download all your apps and be ready to go. If a developer wants to rewrite the user interface (like Apple did for its own), there are some enhanced features. SDK is available today so developers can go to Apple.com and get going. It includes an ipad simulator. Apple thinks this will be another gold rush for developers.
The iPad is built to run all 140,000 apps from the current App Store.
They automatically double the pixels to run full screen.
New features for gamers include two finger slide, new ways to interact, three finger moves, drag targeting, etc... Gamers in the audience are cheering out loud!
Next presenter...New York Times. This company has been publishing for 150 years.
The Times website is great but they also developed a new app just for the iPad. Their iPhone app was downloaded 3 million times. They want to mix the best of digital with the best of print. They have now captured the essence of reading a print newspaper digitally.
This is going to morph articles, with podcasts, with video in new ways. NY Times is excited to usher in the new generation of digital journalism.
Now showing the app called Brushes. It's a painting application that has been used to produce magazine covers, award winning paintings, etc... With this thing maybe even I could come up with something artsy! The point is, the mobile Internet Age is game changing in the way it enables people's creativity. This is a true portable painting studio.
Next up... Electronic Arts.
Gamers want performance. Showing off 3D version of BMW racing. It is stunning to see. It's like holding an HD TV right next to your have and you get to steer and feel the speed...Now EA can add shifter and many other things to push the limits. Expect a lot to come from EA soon.
With all this screen space you can watch highlights within the live action, open up statistics, summaries, and live interaction. Live video action enhanced with data in new ways. No longer will people take their transistor radio into the backyard!
Last demo will be MLB.com. This one is so interesting because it has revolutionized the way people watch sports.
Steve Jobs retakes the stage. Showing off one of Apple's own apps. E-reader! Apple is ready to stand on Amazon's shoulders and improve what it started. New app is called iBooks. Looks just like a real book shelf and a real book. It's a new iBooks store.
...Contains top charts lists...Five publishers are so far supporting it, including Harper Collins, Penguin...
Apple running its own store fits into Steve's AppleWorld plan. So far no mention of Barnes and Noble. Will this do to brick and mortar bookstores what ITunes did to brick-and-mortar music stores?
Applause as he shows off the touch capabilities. You drag the page back and forth just like you're grabbing a real page. Authors and publishers have a whole new medium to utilize.
| Apple's iPad
Initially Apple thought that Pages, Numbers, etc. required too much horsepower to run on iPad but they figured it out. So now we've got mobile spreadsheets and keynotes. Now Phil Schiller is sitting in the chair. Presentations can be produced easily. This device is certainly multi-functional. Hard to imagine why anybody would want to buy a device like the Amazon Kindle that only does one thing...This was the magic sauce of the iPhone and it looks like the iPad will repeat it.
Makes me wonder...took about a year for people to decide that they didn't need a keyboard on their phone. If Apple and the apps can tailor the experience of software like iWork to a touchscreen, this could be the first product to open the floodgates of touchscreen PCs...
It's amazing that Apple generates this kind of buzz without ever having mentioned the iPad itself...
The international media is here en mass. I guess that's the appeal of innovation?
Phil is still showing off the iWork iPad software. It seems to know what you need before you need it, eliminating the need for a physical keyboard.
These things would never work on iPhone's small screen. This really is a new space...
Each app in iWork costs $9.99. Compatible with Mac, easy to connect to projectors, and is available via the iPad store for digital distribution.
Steve's back on stage...The iPad syncs with iTunes and App Store so you can access all of your previously-bought stuff. Every iPad has WiFi AND will have 3G built in.
What will 3G cost? Usually it's $60, but we've had a breakthrough: For 250 mb of data, it's only $14.99
Unlimited plan is only $29.99. The breakthrough deal is with AT&T. You can activate this right on the iPad and there is no contract. Cancel anytime.
Breakthrough deal in the U.S., hope to have international ready June/July. All models are unlocked. Uses new GSM micro SIM's.
Steve repeats--it's the Internet in your hand. Books, music, movies, photos, iWork, 140,000 apps...what should we price it at? The pundits say we should price it at $999...
But Steve wants to price it more aggressively. Wants to put it in the hands of a lot of people.
WITH 3G: $629, $729, and $829 vs. without: $499, $599, and $699.
Will ship in 60 days.
Three accessories: The dock, keyboard dock (just slide iPad into it and type), and a case...
Case will be great to hold up iPad to watch movies...
Now we're watching a video of Apple designer Jonathan Ive discussing the revolutionary technologies. (Apple is doing a great job of allowing us to get to know its executive team.)
The point of the video is that the iPad is so intuitive that you don't even have to think about it. Just open the box and have fun...
There is a reason why Apple is growing revenue and profits like it is...It's very rare to find a company lead the charge into such a large revolution like mobile internet. The winners of the last ten years are not guaranteed a spot at the top. Events like this will keep Apple in the pole position for years to come.
This is a must-have stock in any portfolio -- whether you are a value or a growth investor, this stock is underpriced. Tremendous risk/reward over the next few years...
Apple typically starts with a high-price model, but this iPad is priced to jump into the market right away. Very interesting.
Steve is back and asks, "Do we have what it takes to establish a third mobile product? We think we do. We already have 75 million mobile customers who know how to use this thing..."
"We have 125 million credit card accounts, users have downloaded over 12 billion products from Apple stores. We are at scale and ready for the market."
"The reason Apple is able to create these products is because we are at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. We can create advanced, easy to use, fun to use, intuitive products. This combination lets Apple create products like the iPad."
There's a hands-on section next door, yes! I get to go try one out.
Event just ended with a standing ovation.
Thanks for joining us -- 2010 is an exciting time to be an investor. Pick up a copy of my e-book, Apple Revolution,
for more on what to expect in the next decade. (www.applerevolution.com)