Apple's iPad Unveiled

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple's ( AAPL) Steve Jobs introduced the sleekly designed sculpture of WiFi-enabled plastic and glass Wednesday. Ladies and gentlemen: the Apple iPad.

We have uncovered, reported and even panned what is billed as the next big device from Apple, the tech shop that gave you the iPod and the iPhone. Apple and Jobs have been tinkering on this 10-inch touchscreen device for over two years. More than an e-book and less than a notebook, Apple's iPad hopes to open a new chapter on mobile gadgets.

Read on to review some of the biggest Apple Tablet stories TheStreet has published over the last year.

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Inside this article:

>>Apple Needs Cheaper iPhone, Netbooks to Thrive

>>Apple's Netbook Foray Will Flop

>>Apple Plans Two Tablets

>>Don't Bet on Apple's Tablet

>>Telcos Hold Key to Apple Tablet Sales

>>Exclusive: Apple's Tablet Has No Intel Inside

>>Apple's Tablet: Newton Redux?

>>Apple, Verizon Team on Tablet

Apple Needs Cheaper iPhone, Netbooks to Thrive


Almost a year ago, we ran a story about how Apple has come under pressure to tap into the growing popularity of netbooks, and there has been speculation -- and probably some hope -- that the iPad could help fulfill this role. A move into the low-cost computer sector would be a major strategic shift for Apple, which has traditionally prized performance over price. It could also potentially pit the consumer technology giant against the likes of Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) and Asus.

>>Apple's Netbook Foray Will Flop

Apple's Netbook Foray Will Flop


No one doubts Steve Jobs' ability to turn out innovative, beautifully-designed products. But we saw what happened to the company's first move into tablets (see the failed Apple Newton pictured above, circa 1993), and as we reported back in the spring, we're still skeptical that we'll see a large chunk of consumers willing to pay what could be a hefty price for yet another device, one that falls somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop.

>>Apple Plans Two Tablets

Apple Plans Two Tablets


Last summer we wrote that Apple was planning two versions of its Tablet technology -- one for the educational market and one with a webcam. More recently, Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar gave us an updated prediction of a two-pronged Tablet approach from Apple. The first model will be a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet; the second, a Wi-Fi tablet powered by a Qualcomm ( QCOM) chip.

>>Don't Bet on Apple's Tablet

Don't Bet on Apple's Tablet


To keep up with its current momentum, Apple needs a new category killer -- something that can match the frenzy raised by early iterations of its iPod and iPhone. With a device that's not yet a clear necessity for consumers, we're not so sure that the iSlate/iPad will be Apple's next big thing.

>>Telcos Hold Key to Apple Tablet Sales

Telcos Hold Key to Apple Tablet Sales


Before we knew that Apple had chosen Verizon ( VZ) for its big Tablet venture, we noted that the Tablet's price hinged on the data charges its future telco partner would impose on customers. While analysts expect Apple to charge about $800 for the device, they also expect Verizon to subsidize about $200 of it and require a two-year plan of about $60 a month -- a steep price for a piece of hardware that doesn't come with a keyboard.

>>Exclusive: Apple's Tablet Has No Intel Inside

Exclusive: Apple's Tablet Has No Intel Inside


Up until January, there was speculation that Intel's ( INTC) new generation of Atom chips was in the running to power Apple's Tablet devices. Unfortunately for Intel, just as Apple was gearing up to start production, analysts revealed that Apple chose a processor developed by P.A. Semi, a chip shop it acquired two years ago. That's a big blow to Intel, especially if the Tablet becomes a hot commodity.

>>Apple's Tablet: Newton Redux?

Apple's Tablet: Newton Redux?


Apple got bruised on its first trip down this road. In 1993, Apple introduced the Newton, what it called the world's first personal digital assistant (PDA). The 7.5-inch Newton was years ahead of its time and cost hundreds of dollars more than a cheap computer. The masses never developed a taste for it, and in 1997, a smaller, cheaper Palm ( PALM) Pilot arrived and gained a big following. Apple killed the Newton the following year.

>>Apple, Verizon Team on Tablet

Apple, Verizon Team on Tablet


In a telling design win, at least one version of the new Apple Tablet will have a Qualcomm wireless chip. That tells Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar that the Apple Tablet is headed to Verizon. It also confirms a July scoop by TheStreet that first unveiled the Verizon-Apple connection. That also means at least one phone company will offer the Tablet for a somewhat lower price in exchange for a two-year data service plan.

-- Reported in New York by TheStreet's tech team

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.