It's the "Final Countdown". Apologies for breaking into a cheesy retro rock number but that is the effect Apple has on us tech-heads. Unless you are living underground or have been temporarily comatose (welcome back to the land of the living), you know today is the D-Day, or iDay as we have been calling it in the office. Yes folks, today the Apple tablet may cease to be a myth and hopefully become a sweet, sweet reality. Imagine, just one hour from now and all your queries regarding this device will be answered.
As many of you know, the every existence of the Apple tablet, aka the iSlate, has been torturing tech obsessives for months, though Apple has chosen to stay mum (shame on you Steve) on the subject, as is its wont. According to industry insiders, Apple may stick to the moniker iSlate and will equip it with an OLED touch display. There has also been speculation about the unveiling of iPhone OS 4.0, a touchscreen version of iLife and touchscreen haptic feedback.
So make sure that you witness this historic event and be here at 10 am Pacific Standard Time with your eyes and ears peeled and pinned back respectively, and your finger on the refresh key. The live blog updates will be coming thick and fast over the next couple of hours and are all contained after the jump. They will be organized oldest to newest so make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page after every refresh. See you on the other side.
08:00AM ‚Äì Hawaii
10:00AM ‚Äì Pacific
11:00AM ‚Äì Mountain
12:00PM ‚Äì Central
01:00PM ‚Äì Eastern
11:30PM ‚Äì New Delhi
06:00PM ‚Äì London
07:00PM ‚Äì Paris
09:00PM ‚Äì Moscow
03:00AM ‚Äì Tokyo (January 28th)
09:10: And we're off – for the next three hours, my fingers are a slave to my MacBook keyboard.
09:11 Ooh interesting, the wires are alive with chatter about Steve Jobs announcing his retirement at this event. Could be possible.
09:16 Time to place your bets people – will the new Apple device be anything like the hologram Luke uses to talk to Leia in Star Wars.
09:19 Why not kill the remaining 40 minutes until blast off completing our Apple tablet quiz? Go on, you know you want to - http://www.ismashphone.com/2010/01/the-ismashphone-tablet-quiz-consider-the-next-hour-taken-care-of.html
09:21 Someone at Gizmodo has just snapped a pic of Stephen Fry inside the Apple Event – a very vocal Apple fan and fantastic UK author, comedian, actor and TV personality – I wonder if he is going to take the stage to talk about eBooks? - http://live.gizmodo.com/
09:30 Still not sure if this event is going to be available via live video stream from anywhere – comment if you know something we don't!
09:35 Loads of people chatting about the tablet having a solar charging unit – I seriously doubt that!
09:37 Just realized I've been live-blogging in the wrong time-zone – face palm! Will sort now.
09:39 Right, that's us comfortably in PST now – early blunder is now behind us, it's all plain sailing from here *bites lip*.
09:41 Ok, CruchGear live coverage has started, live video feed now underway.
09:49 I wonder if the tablet will be the only big reveal – what if the 'One more thing' is a touchscreen MacBook or iMac?
09:51 Invited journalists are now seated – Bob Dylan is playing in the background of the event hall.
09:52 We're keeping an eye on the Apple Store for any sudden changes, nothing so far…
09:53 There seems to be a plush leather chair and a table on the stage – definitely a first for an Apple event.
09:56 They're still playing Dylan, it's the third song in a row – I wonder if he'll be in attendance?
09:58 Apparently another celebrity that has been spotted there is Al Gore – wonder if they will play up the green element.
09:59 A booming voice just called for cell phones to be placed on silent *giggles with nervous excitement*
10:03 Apparently the lights have been dimmed – can hear clapping.
10:05 Jobs has hit the stage – set to introduce 'magical and revolutionary product'
10:06 Jobs announces 250 millionth iPod has been sold.
10:08 Jobs announces that Apple is now the world's largest mobile device manufacturer.
10:11 Jobs is talking about media tasks – internet, photos, video – claims netbooks 'aren't better than a laptop, just cheaper'
10:14 It's official, the name is iPad
10:16 Looks like a large iPhone with a larger screen border – definitely media focussed so far.
10:17 Loads of images at Gizmodo
10:18 Jobs calls the iPad 'more intimate than a laptop' demos web browser and buying movie tickets.
10:19 Jobs has finished with web browsing, now moving on to email usage – has a home button.
10:21 Keyboard is pretty large, certainly more useful for typing than on an iPhone – two handed typing doesn't look easy though.
10:21 Moving on to photo usage now – not sure why this device will be more useful for photos than the existing iPhone – still no word on whether it has a camera.
10:23 Interesting that Jobs launched straight into the iPad announcement – this event is due to last for another hour and 30 minutes – maybe there's another touchscreen device set to be announced
10:24 Built in iPod – so far this is an oversized iPod touch – wonder if any of the gesture inputs will come to fruition.
10:25 Emphasizing iTunes content – TV, movies, music, podcasts, iTunes U…
10:26 The top left of the screen just says 'iPad' with wireless symbol next to it – perhaps wifi is the only form of connectivity.
10:28 – Demoing YouTube now – seen this all before nearly three years ago – yawn.
10:30 That's the overview finished – internet, photos, email, iPod and video – absolutely nothing new so far.
10:31 Some form factor facts – half inch thick, one and a half pounds, 9.7 inches diagonal screen size, 1GHz Apple A4 chip.
10:32 16, 32 or 64 GB solid state storage – accelerometer, compass.
10:33 Finally something to be impressed by – 10 hours battery life!
10:34 Dock connector – very green, arsenic free.
10:35 iPad compatible with all Apps – Scott Forstall is on the stage, demoing games now.
10:37 Apps can run in iPhone scaled or pixel doubled mode to make them fit to the screen.
10:38 We're seriously going to go to town on the name iPad as soon as the event is over. What do you lot think about it? Let us know in the comments.
10:40 The iPad SDK is available to download from the Apple website today!
10:41 Gaming is getting a serious going over now – Gameloft demoing something that looks like N.O.V.A. targeting enemies by drawing a targeting box around them.
10:44 iPad version of N.O.V.A. confirmed for later this year – next up, The New York Times.
10:49 An App called brushes where you can paint on the screen has just been demoed – looks very cool, but accuracy could be an issue.
10:49 The iPad puns are pouring in thick and fast in our comments – best so far is, will updates be called iPatches 🙂 lol
10:51 Back to gaming, Electronic arts is demoing a very impressive looking racing title – seriously smooth and very high definition graphics.
10:54 Now live TV is being shown off with some baseball – very crisp looking and includes lots of cool interactive elements.
10:55 That was actually just peer to peer live footage of in-game action – still a cool feature though.
10:56 Reader reaction seems to be negative so far – have to say I agree, I'm not seeing a huge benefit to owning an iPad over an iPod touch. It does look like a great luxury item, but I don't think this is going to replace anyone's laptop or iPod touch.
10:58 New app called iBooks introduced – features book shelf and store front, looks quite nice and far superior to the kindle, which Jobs was quite complimentary about when introducing this feature.
11:00 Now something 'really exciting' claims jobs.
11:01 iWork is coming to iPad! This takes the device into a completely different realm – starting to look a bit brighter for the iPad.
11:02 Completely new versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers, all optimized for finger input.
11:03 Keynote runs in landscape mode, Phil Schiller is demoing the interface – looks very slick.
11:06 Keynote and Numbers I can understand, but I'll be very interested to see how Pages works out – still, slow and steady wins the race, looks like Apple is building momentum and this thing could be very impressive the end of the presentation.
11:07 This is definitely some pretty impressive practical computing – very Minority Report.
11:09 Still nothing new on the Apple website – getting restless about pricing info – if this is cheap, it could be very big.
11:14 iWork looked very impressive – $9.99 for each element – that's wrapped up now. Moving on to other functionality.
11:15 Jobs is explaining about how the iPad syncs just like an iPhone or iPod.
11:16 iPad will have 3G! Two plans 250 MB of data a month $14.99, unlimited plan for just $29.99 a month – deal is with AT&T.
11:17 No contract – this is free pay and y
ou can set it up and activate it right on the iPad. Not a bad deal at all.
11:18 European deals still to be worked out by June – iPad will use micro sims.
11:20 iPad 3G models will be carrier unlocked.
11:20 Now talking about pricing – this is very exciting – definitely going to be a good bit cheaper than $999.
11:21 iPad price starts at $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB - very cheap.
11:22 iPad 3G models will cost an extra $130 on top of each price – there are six models in total – WIFI models available worldwide in 60 days and 3G versions 30 days after that.
11:24 Jobs announces the Keyboard dock for the iPad – so you can use like a desktop PC.
11:28 Promotional reel is running now – expect this to be on the Apple website before the end of the day.
11:30 This pretty much wraps up the iPad announcement with half an hour to go – I'm guessing there's going to be a 'Just one more thing' style announcement.
11:35 A bit of corporate waffle about iTunes sales figures, Apple's strengths as a company etc. – really want another announcement – getting greedy.
11:37 Ok that's it apparently – live-blog over, no extra announcement. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our extra coverage coming throughout the day and the rest of the week.