Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Look Out, Dell, HP, Lenovo: iPad Is $499


As he usually does to competitors, Apple CEO Steve Jobs smacked the netbook market upside the head with a $499 intro price for the iPad tablet computer unveiled today at a live event in San Francisco.

What this means for makers of netbooks–such as Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Lenovo–is clear: Ouch.

Jobs insulted the category of small, cheap minicomputers right at the start of the Apple (AAPL) iPad event, saying they were mostly useless though cheap.

But the real punch came later when he announced the price for the 16-gigabyte base model at $499.

As Digital Daily’s John Paczkowski writes in the liveblog of the event:

“iPad pricing starts not at $999, but $499,” Jobs says to a huge round of applause.

$499 for 16GB base model
32GB for $599
64GB for $699

Adding 3G requires an additional fee.

Apple will be shipping Wi-Fi models in 60 days and the 3G models in 90.

In other words, Apple is now competing in the low-price market with a more innovative device packed with a huge number of robust multimedia and mobile features and slick software.

While some are calling the iPad nothing more than a supersized iPod touch, it will still be interesting to see how netbooks react to the challenge.

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— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle