SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Apple Inc. on Wednesday unveiled the long-anticipated tablet-computing device named "iPad. "
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new product in front of a selected audience of reporters, tech bloggers and other guests at the event held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco.
Featuring a 9.7-inch touch screen, the iPad is half-inch thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, and includes 12 new apps designed especially for it. The tablet has a battery that lasts 10 hours and over a month of standby.
There are six models with the basic starting at 499 U.S. dollars and the most expensive at 829 dollars.
All models have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Wi-Fi only version will be shipped in March and the 3G version will be available in April.
Jobs said the iPad will be better for browsing, playing games and watching video than either a laptop or a smart-phone.
"iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price," said Jobs. "iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."
Applications developed for the iPad from The New York Times and electronic games company Electronic Arts Inc were introduced at the event.
Jobs also introduced a new app called iBooks, saying consumers could purchase e-books from large publishers in the iBooks store including Penguin, HaperCollins, Simon&Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette Book Group.
Two data plans from AT&T in the U.S. were also announced with 14.99 dollars per month for 250 megabytes of data and 29.99 dollars for unlimited data usage.
According to the financial report released on Monday, the Cupertino-based company rocketed to most profitable period for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended Dec. 26, posting revenue of 15.68 billion U.S. dollars and a net quarterly profit of 3.38 billion. Gross margin was 40.9 percent, up from 37.9 percent in the year- ago quarter.