iPad Tablet Won't Become a Best-Seller at Once

Even though the new device of Apple Inc. -  iPad tablet, introduced yesterday,  attracts public interest, the consumers won't rush to computer stores to purchase it till the price  drops below $499, Piper Jaffray & Co. said.

“It needs to be $300 to $400,” said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis. “It’s an amazing device, but investors should have measured enthusiasm about how long it takes for something like this to gain traction.”

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs introduced the iPad yesterday, pitching it as a “magical” new category of mobile devices between Apple’s MacBook laptop and the iPhone. The iPad, with a 9.7-inch (25-centimeter) color touch screen, lets users play music, videos and games, check e-mail and surf the Web.

Apple will start selling three models in the U.S. in March, priced between $499 and $699, that let users connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi networks. Three models that work with AT&T Inc.’s 3G wireless-phone network will go on sale in April for $629 to $829, with an additional $14.99 or $29.99 a month for a service plan.

Jobs also said the gadget will include software called iBooks for displaying electronic books, setting up a challenge to dedicated e-book readers from Sony Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., which offers its Kindle starting at $259.

The BusinessWeek  has contributed to the report.

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