NEW YORK Apple Inc unveiled its wildly anticipated "iPad" on Wednesday in the biggest product launch since the iPhone three years ago.
Prices start at $499 for the sleek, full-color, half-inch thin gadget that is designed for a variety of media, from videos to games to electronic books and newspapers.
NED MAY, DIRECTOR AND LEAD ANALYST, OUTSELL INC:
"The $499 price point is a great place to have an entry point. That's low enough to get traction in the marketplace. Their core market in some ways is iPhone users and (the monthly data place costs) is pretty much on par there. Folks can seem to be disgruntled with every network carrier out there, but iPhone has done well in the U.S. with AT&T. I'm pretty sure that's what I'm paying for my iPhone so there's no real difference."
"It's an impressive device. It's a device that can do so much ...the idea that developers have for it today may not be its primary usage."
"Yes, I think they have done it again, not because they are doing one thing so uniquely well, but because they are doing a lot of things much better than they were done before. It's pulling together a variety of needs (in) a universal entertainment device. What once occupied half your living room can now be dropped in a bag."
JAMES MCQUIVEY, ANALYST, FORRESTER RESEARCH
"Basically all they've said is this is a really big iPod touch, so far it has a better screen and so you can design better apps for it, but Apple hasn't solved some of the media use problems that they're in a position to solve."
"I really thought there was a real opportunity for the integration of media, more than what iTunes does today -- your photos, your personal media, everything that you can buy from iTunes today, integrated into a new experience."
STEPHEN BAKER, ANALYST, NPD:
"So far it looks like a big iPod Touch with probably some more power under the hood and smoother ways of doing things and bigger screen to support that. Maybe it's a bigger gaming platform, but I'm no sure what the killer app is yet and what the reason for buying this product."
"I'm concerned when Jobs says it's better than a notebook. I don't think they want people not to buy the Mac books so what's the endgame here? If it's doing all these things and does it better than a notebook then they'd have to tell me why I'd want a Macbook."
"That's a nice price point and a little less than people had anticipated. It makes it a little easier to slot it in between an iPod Touch and a notebook, although the question again is whether there is cannibalization between notebooks and iPads."
(Reporting by Sue Zeidler, Gina Keating, Alex Dobuzinskis, and Phil Wahba, compiled by Paul Thomasch)