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Apple iPad to make international debut on Friday

Wired magazine unveils iPad application
Wired magazine unveiled its application for Apple's iPad on Wednesday, an interactive version of the popular technology publication for five dollars a month, the same price as the print edition. "Wired is finally, well, wired," editor-in-chief Chris Anderson said in a statement on the website. Anderson added that the Wired editorial team appreciated the irony that a "magazine founded to chronicle the digital revolution" was now available on something other than "the smooshed atoms of dead trees." Anderson, an influential technology writer and author of the books about the Internet "The Long Tail" and "Free," said the arrival of tablet computers like the iPad represent "a grand experiment in the future of media." "The tablet is our opportunity to make the Wired we always dreamed of," he said. "It has all the visual impact of paper, enhanced by interactive elements like video and animated infographics." The magazine's June edition includes an interactive Mars map, a video tour of the recording studio of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Pixar's "Toy Story 3." Readers browse stories and photos in the digital Wired, which is available through Apple's online iTunes store and contains advertising, by swiping the iPad touchscreen with a finger or pinching to zoom in or out. US newspapers and magazines have been grappling with a steady decline in print advertising revenue and circulation and Wired is one of a number of US publications which have turned to the iPad as an avenue for new revenue. Wired owner Conde Nast has also released iPad applications for two other magazines in its stable, GQ and Vanity Fair. To produce the iPad application, Wired teamed up with Adobe Systems, whose popular Flash video software has been banned from Apple products. Anderson said the Wired iPad application was created in a yearlong effort using "new digital publishing technology developed by Adobe."
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) May 26, 2010
Apple's iPad finally goes on sale outside the United States this week after heavy US demand for the multi-media gadget forced a one-month delay of its international release.

The touchscreen tablet device from the maker of the Macintosh computer, the iPod and the iPhone will be available on Friday in stores in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.

The Cupertino, California-based Apple plans to bring the iPad to Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July.

The company co-founded by Steve Jobs had planned to begin selling the iPad internationally in late April but was forced to delay the global debut of the device because of what it said was "surprisingly strong US demand."

Apple said earlier this month that it sold one million iPads in the first 28 days it was available in the United States, less than half the time it took for the company to sell the same number of iPhones.

More than 5,000 applications have been developed for the iPad, according to an Apple spokesman, in addition to the 200,000 programs already available for the iPhone or the iPod Touch, most of which run on the iPad.

A Wi-Fi version of the iPad, which allows users to watch video, listen to music, play games, surf the Web or read electronic books, went on sale in the United States on April 3 starting at 499 dollars.

A model featuring both Wi-Fi and 3G cellular connectivity appeared on US store shelves on April 30 for up to 829 dollars.

Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky estimated that Apple is selling over 200,000 iPads a week -- more than its estimated Macintosh sales of 110,000 a week and its estimated iPhone 3GS sales of 246,000 a week.

Apple has declined to reveal the number of pre-orders received for the iPad internationally but Abramsky put it at around 600,000.

The US sales figures indicate the iPad is a hit but success did not appear guaranteed when Apple's Jobs unveiled the device at a high-profile media event in San Francisco in January.

"There were plenty of questions before the iPad launch and quite a mixed reaction to it when it was released," said Gartner analyst Charles Smulders.

Critics mocked the name for its resemblance to that of a feminine hygiene product, derided it as a "big iPhone" without a phone or a camera and bemoaned its inability to play Adobe's popular Flash video software.

But the iPad appears to have won over the public with a hip advertising campaign and curious consumers can be seen lining up daily to play with tethered models of the device on display at Apple stores around the country.

"Aside from the design, a key to its success has been getting the product into the hands of consumers," Smulders said. "With a new category of product like this it is difficult to understand its value unless you try it.

"Apple has done a great job seeding the market."

Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital said he sees potential for the iPad beyond the consumer market.

"Even corporations are piloting the device at a pace that surprises us," Reitzes said. "At the very least we believe the device can tap into the corporate market as a 'log in' device that accesses the network.

"Many of our clients are increasingly using, or intend to use, the device as a reader for research as well," he said.

With success comes competition and imitation.

US computer giant Dell plans to begin selling its own tablet computer, the "Streak," which has a five-inch (12.5-centimeter) screen compared with the iPad's 9.7 inches (24.6 centimeters), in Britain in June and in the United States later in the summer.

And another US computer giant, Hewlett-Packard, recently announced plans to acquire struggling US mobile phone maker Palm and is expected to use its WebOS operating system to develop a tablet computer of its own.

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Sony develops roll-up video screen
Tokyo (AFP) May 26, 2010
Japanese electronics giant Sony said Wednesday it had developed what it called "the world's first" prototype flexible colour video screen that is small enough to be rolled around a pencil. The screen consists of an ultra-thin flexible material covered in organic semiconductors, potentially pointing to a future of flexible mobile devices, television, electronic newspapers and magazines. ... read more

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