URBANA – If you can buy an iPad today – supplies may be limited – you'll have instant access to thousands of free books through a ground-breaking local organization.
Apple Inc. may sell 7.1 million of the $499 iPads this year, said California-based market researcher iSuppli Corp.
Among area stores that could offer the product Saturday are Best Buy and the campustown Illini Apple Center. Under Apple's strict information policy, a Best Buy employees said no one from the local store could comment. Myles Beeson of the Illini Apple Center said there would definitely be demo models Saturday, but the store could not say if or how many iPads would be for sale.
Under the deal with Project Gutenberg, the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, all titles will eventually be free through the service, and many will be available immediately.
Michael Hart of Urbana founded Project Gutenberg, the first eBooks, in 1971. There are now more than 100,000 public domain (post-copyright) books available through the http://www.gutenberg.org, 30,000 of them were originally put up by Project Gutenberg.
More information on the mobile aspect is online here.
Another local organization also has an iPad connection.
Champaign's Wolfram Alpha LLC announced this week that Wolfram|Alpha App for iPad is available on the App Store for $1.99.
"The new iPad app is the best way yet to experience the magic of Wolfram|Alpha," said Barak Berkowitz, managing director of Wolfram|Alpha.
"We are increasing the accessibility of Wolfram|Alpha's immeasurable knowledge and resources by extending our capabilities to this important new platform."
More in Saturday's News-Gazette.