iPad Launch: What Buyers Need to Know

Its long-term future may be hazy, but much is coming into focus about Appleā€™s tablet ahead of launch.

Apple iPad.

Software. The iPad will run all of the more than 100,000 applications made for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. But fencesitters might want to see some of the new software designed to take advantage of the iPad's added power and larger screen. Bloggers at padgadget.com spotted a number of apps in Apple's App Store that appear to be written specifically for the iPad, as denoted by "HD" or "XL" as part of their names. Prices appeared higher than those for the iPhone; games costing $1 for the iPhone were listed at $2 to $4 more for the iPad. The titles disappeared from the App Store after the publicity, but this week Apple posted about a dozen videos on its site to show what Apple-provided software will look like on the iPad.

Accessories. Several key peripherals from Apple, including a keyboard dock that also props up and recharges the iPad, won't be available until weeks after the iPad launch. A few others will be available Saturday, including a simple dock and external monitor adapter. A few accessories from other companies will be available for the launch at Apple stores, such as a car charger from Kensington. Most of the early iPad accessories are cases, slings, and bags. Hardware add-ons are more difficult and costly to design, and manufacturers often wait to see how a product sells before making the investment.

Apple Inc.