2:32 p.m. - That's a wrap. Check back today for insight and analysis of today's announcements. Below, the new Apple iPad, which will go on sale in March starting at $499.



2:30 p.m.- Jobs in closing: More than 75 million people already know how to use iPad (iTouch and iPhone owners) and users have downloaded more than 12 billion products. "We are at scale, and we are ready for the iPad."


2:24 p.m. - Accessories. Dock, works like picture frame as you're charging. Dock with keyboard. (Applause.) Charges as you type. Also a case that splits out into a stand. Event is winding down.


2:21 p.m. - Specifics: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, 64GB $699 Add 3G, $629, $729, $829. That's the most expensive model--64GB with 3G and Wi-Fi. Wow. Will be shipping worldwide in 60 days for Wi-FI models. Another 30 days beyond that to get the 3G models through the approval process with the carriers.


2:19 p.m. - Jobs: "If you listen to the pundits, we're going to price it at under a thousand dollars, which is code for $999. We had a very aggressive price goal because we want to put this in the hands of lots of people. Just like we were able to meet or exceed or technical goals, we have met our cost goals. And I am thrilled to announce to you that the iPad pricing starts at $499." Major applause. Every PC netbook maker just had a heart attack. (Billboard office: Everybody lost price pool.)


2:17 p.m. - International data plans hopefully in place by June or July. All iPad models are unlocked. Use GSM micro SIMs. Some carriers offer those, "there's a very high likelihood they'll just work."He's recapping now. Price is coming...


2:15 p.m. - Syncs over USB with iTunes running on your Mac or PC. You sync everything. Photos, music, movies, tv shows, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, applications. Backups are synced back. Wireless networking. Wi-Fi. There will be models of iPad with 3G cellular wireless data built in. In the US, telecom companies typically charge $60/month for data plan. Two awesome plans for iPad owners.First one, up to 250MB data per month. Just $14.99 a month (!) Big applause. Unlimited plan only $29.99/month. Breakthrough deal with AT&T who's providing this service. (Some grumbling--people were hoping for Verizon deal.) Throwing in free access from Wi-Fi hotspots. Can activate this on iPad itself. PREPAID. No contract. Can cancel any time you want. (Nice!)


2:13 p.m. - Finally: iTunes.


2:10 p.m. - Word processing program's cool. Keyboard appears on the screen for typing. Can drag and drop embedded images and text automatically wraps around them. Now demonstrating spreadsheet. Very cool. Each application will cost only $9.99, will be available in App Store on iPad. Completely new apps, compatible with iWork on Mac. Can connect to projectors for presentation.


2:04 p.m. - Phil Schiller, senior VP product marketing demonstrates. "Keynote" is iWork's PowerPoint competitor for creating presentations. Scroll with finger, tap to navigate, and so on. It works as you'd expect. This is difficult programming, but users will take it for granted--of course it's supposed to work like this. (Part of Apple's genius.) How do you move slide without keyboard or mouse? Just hold finger on it, drag and they move. Can grab multiple slides by tapping each one.


2:00 p.m. - iBooks uses the eBook format, which apparently is a popular open format. "Now, something very exciting: iWork." So they're going to have productivity applications on the device as well. This is the first thing that makes it fundamentally different from the iPod Touch-it makes it more like a notebook. They came up with an entirely new user interface.


1:57 p.m. - The new e-reader app is called iBooks. Looks very much like a book. Can see both pages if you go in portrait mode. Bookshelf UI, similar to iTunes album covers but with book covers on a wooden shelf. There's a button in upper-left corner of corner: iBook Store. Can discover, purchase, and download books right onto your iPad. Can access lists like NYTimes bestseller. Penguin, Harper Colins, Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette all supporting at launch. No B&N integration as rumored, this is Apple's own store. (Makes sense--that's what they did with iTunes for album.) Works almost exactly like iTunes. Can read reviews, read excerpt, click buy and it downloads right onto your bookshelf. Reading: just tap to right to turn page forward, tap to left to turn page back. Can go to table of contents and pick chapter to go straight there. Photos, black and white, color, you can have video if you'd like in your books. Can change font size, change font itself. This does make the Kindle look a little bit outdated.


1:53 p.m. -Jobs is back. New app. Ebook reader. They're showing the Kindle. "We're going to stand on tehir shoulders and go a bit further."


1:52 p.m. - Last demonstration: MLB.com's Chad Evans. Didn't just take iPhone app and make it better. They redesigned completely for the iPad. Shows cartoon image of batter, can click for more information, stats, and so on. Can also view video highlights in another window at same time. Can also watch live on MLB TV. Great resolution. Watching the game, enhance it with player cards, box scores, and so on, while you watch. This is like all those interactive TV demonstrations I've seen over the last 15 years, but you don't need a special set-top box to get it.


1:43 p.m. - Martin Nisenholtz from the New York Times. They came out 3 weeks ago to develop new app for iPad. Why? They'd already created app for iPhone that has been downloaded 3 million times. Now want to do the same. Demo from Jennifer Brook. Can skip to particular sections. Can save particular apps online so that you can access them later form iPhone. Can change number of columns, resize text with a pinch, jump to slide shows, embedded video right in the middle of the story. This is an interesting new paradigm--it looks like a newspaper, but works like a Web site. They did a nice job on this.


1:41 p.m. - Now on stage: Mark Hickey from Gameloft, a third-party game developer. Demonstrating a game called Nova, which they've redesigned specifically for iPad. Can interact with games in new ways. In this first-person shooter, can target multiple enemies at once, shoot them with one click. They did this in just a few days. Next up: New York Times.



1:37 p.m. - You'll be able to download all the apps you've already bought onto your iPad. If devs modify application, they can take full advantage of large touch screen. That's what Apple has done for its own apps, Photos, Music, Calendar, YouTube. Enhanced the iPhone SDK to support development for iPad. That SDK is released today. Developers can go to Apple.com today, download SDK (software development kit). Even includes iPad simulator, run apps on Mac as you develop them. Every iPad comes with the App Store loaded up on it. Great distribution channel to get apps out to your customers. They will highlight and feature apps that have been specificaly built for iPad. Front and center.


1:34 p.m. - Demoing gaming now. Unmodified App Store racing game. Steer with accelerometer, can take it full screen.


1:30 p.m. - Demo is done! "Watching it is nothing like getting one in your hands." Hardware specs: 1/2 inch thin, weighs 1 and a half pounds. Thinner and lighter than any netbook. 9.7 inch display, IPS display. Full capacative multitouch, just like iPhone. Powered by Apple's own custom silicon. Chip called A4 16, 32, or 64GB solid state flash storage. WiFi 802.11n (highest speed), Bluetooth 2.1 Accelerometer, compass, speaker, microphone, 30-pin connector for iPod accessories. Battery life 10 hours. That gained huge applause, but I'd be skeptical until I tested it. "I can fly from San Francisco to Tokyo and watch video the whole way on one charge." Over one month of standby life. Set it down on standby for one MONTH and it'll still have charge.


1:26 p.m. - So far, the iPad looks and acts pretty much exactly as you'd expect if you've ever used or seen an iPhone. There are no surprises yet. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a disappointment, but it's not groundbreaking either. Maybe the big reveal is still to come.


1:25 p.m. - iTunes store, demos the song by clicking on it. Video, TV, Movies, all built in. That's it for music for now. Moving on to Calendar, looks slick. Day, week, list view. Contacts application. Maps app. Looks exactly like iPhone app. Uses Google back-end, pinch to zoom. Finds current location in San Francisco, finding nearby sushi restaurant.


1:23 p.m. - Now doing Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone." Album art looks like iPod Touch--haven't demoed anything special on that front yet.


1:22 p.m. - Music experience. See song, tap on it, starts playing. Demoing with Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil." Nice. He's letting it play a bit.


1:21 p.m. - Billboard NY office consensus: "The keyboard is the best thing so far." Pool on iPad price is underway.


1:15 p.m. - Demoing Web browsing experience on NYTimes, Time Magazine. Overall, it's a big, squarish iPod Touch. The browsing experience looks like you'd expect--pinch fingers to zoom, touch to click links.


1:11 p.m. - Jobs debuts iPad. "Is there room for a device between smartphone and laptop? Only if they do tasks much better. What tasks? Web browsing, email, photos, video, music."



1:08 p.m. - Jobs: "Apple is a mobile device company. Largest mobile devices company on world by revenue. Bigger than Sony. Samsung. Nokia."


1:05 p.m. - 3 billion apps downloaded from App Store in last 18 months. Recapping Tuesdays earnings, ended quarter with 15.6B. Apple is a 50B company.


1:01 p.m. - Steve Jobs takes the stage. A few updates before the "truly revolutionary product." 250m iPods sold, 284 retail stores, 50m visitors to stores in the last quarter.


12:56 p.m. - Best overheard comment so far: "l can't wait until President Obama unveils the tablet in tonight's State of the Union address."


12:46 p.m. - We're in. The stage is set and the event is timed to start at 1:00 p.m., but the press is just getting in now. This could be delayed a few minutes. "Mr. Tambourine Man" is rocking the house system.



11:50 a.m. - The scene outside The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (below) where Apple is expected to unveil its new tablet computer today. As you can see, the place is a zoo at the moment. Until we're fully up and running, here's some tablet talk from around the Web:
- Frantic Steve Jobs Stays Up All Night Designing Apple Tablet (The Onion)
- Apple Before a Launch: "It Can Be a Little Frightening" (Gizmodo)
- The Tablet Could Spur A Media Revolution, But It Will Be Out Of Apple’s Hands (TechCrunch)



11:00 a.m. - The Apple Tablet announcement is expected to come today at a news conference in San Francisco. Matt Rosoff will be reporting live from the event for Billboard.biz (Rosoff is a veteran technology reporter and currently a research VP at Directions on Microsoft). For a rundown of things to expect from the event click here. Check back at 12:30ish eastern for pre-game. Kick off at 1:00 p.m.!