The Hidden Cost
The iPad we tested here was the 16GB WiFi version. It cost us $499 + tax (just over $53 extra) just to get this. As we mentioned, we needed (to give you a more complete review) to add a few things to this. The first was at least one movie and one iBook. This added roughly another $15 to the cost.
Next, we picked up iWorks; tack on another $30. From there we ended up needing a cover for our iPad as it was getting scratched, not something we wanted on a $500 piece of hardware. The cheapest case was $40. Now, this is the bottom of the barrel iPad. And after one week we are already into it for $637. We have not even picked up any extras like a set of Apple earbuds (another $40 or so), the dock or the camera connectivity kit. We also have not bought more books or movies. We did buy one additional app to allow us to move files a little easier to and from our PC, but that was only $2.99.
So, you can see that even when buying the entry level iPad you can quickly and easily push your out of pocket costs over $1000 in a very short period of time. Make no mistake; the iPad is a revenue generator. It is meant to provide a constant cash flow to Apple in addition to the 50% margin they typically have on their products. So if you are considering this, keep in mind the continuing money stream that you will be sending Apple to keep using it.