Aiming to seize upon the success of the iPhone, Apple, Inc. on Wednesday unveiled its long-anticipated tablet computer, dubbed the iPad, that the company hopes will raise the competitive ante in the fast-growing market for wireless broadband devices. Presented by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at a packed media event in San Francisco, the iPad is the fruit of a decade’s worth of labor by Apple, which held off on introducing the iPad until advances in technology made it possible to design and market a practical mobile device that boasts an extensive battery life. Weighing 1.5 pounds, the half-inch thick iPad features a 9.7-inch touch screen and boasts up to ten hours of battery life. The iPad will run most of the 140,000 applications designed for the iPhone as well as Apple’s new iBooks store that will enable users to purchase and download books from major publishers for as little as $4.99. The basic version of the iPad, which provides 16 gigabytes of storage as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, will be offered at $499. Priced at $829, the top-of-the-line model comes equipped with 64 gigabytes of storage and a wireless router that connects to the AT&T wireless network at a monthly subscription rate of $30 for unlimited data. Jobs told reporters that the iPad will debut in the U.S. within 60 days and internationally by June or July. Proclaiming that the iPad “is so much more intimate than a laptop, and it’s so much more capable than a smart phone,” Jobs told his audience: “it’s phenomenal to hold the Internet in your hands.”