Jobs Announces iFad

The Mac Cult now has a new device around which to worship blow their college loans, inheritences, and trust funds cash. Apple just unveiled their iFad tablet device. Steve Jobs demonstrated the iFad to adoring throngs of reporters, Apple fans, and other assembled brownnoses. Jobs dissed netbooks as “cheap laptops” and calls the iFad the true nexus between smart phones and laptops. The device is thin — almost as thin as Jobs himself.

The price is expected to be between $600 and $1000. Rumors persist about Apple’s deals with publishers and the suitability of the iFad as an e-book reader.

What will be interesting to me is how quickly Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and others respond with lock-ins. At some point (and probably sooner than later) the cost to manufacture an e-book reader will be low enough to justify selling them at a deep discount or even giving them away to lock consumers into book purchase deals. It’s no different than how long-term agreements effectively subsidize the cost of a “free” or discounted or rebated cell phone. Or how companies like Gillette used to give away razors to get people to buy their blades.

UPDATE 13:04 US/Central — Okay, now that I’ve seen more I feel safe saying this is basically the biggest fucking iPod Touch ever made. It’s not revolutionary, it’s not even really “new.” Lots of hype for this?

UPDATE 13:31 US/Central — Retail set at $499. That makes it an interesting option for anyone looking at the iPod Touch, which probably isn’t the same person looking at a Kindle, Nook, or other reader (or somewhat similar device including netbook). Could hurt Apple’s own products more than Amazon’s, Sony’s, B&N’s, etc. Not everything Apple touches turns to gold.

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