It's the iPad

$499 price and optional keyboard make the tablet a big winner, says analyst

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EPub is an open standard maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

Apple has also created an iPad-specific version of its iWork productivity suite, which includes a word processor, presentation maker and spreadsheet. Each of the three applications -- Pages, Keynote and Numbers -- will cost $9.99 to download from the iPad's App Store, said Philip Schiller, Apple's head of marketing. For text and data entry in iWork's applications, the iPad uses what Jobs and Schiller called an "almost life-sized" on-screen keyboard.

Apple will also sell iPad accessories, including a Kindle-style cover, a docking/recharging station and a keyboard dock that offers a full-size Apple-style keyboard.

"The price and the keyboard, that's what puts the iPad over the top," Gottheil contended. "For some, this can be a full-fledged MacBook substitute. There will be some chewing away of the iPod Touch below and the MacBook above, but the net is that this greatly expands Apple's market.

"This has the potential of bringing in even more people into the Applesphere," Gottheil concluded.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, send e-mail to gkeizer@ix.netcom.com or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed .

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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