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iPad

noun [countable]

a very small, one-bedroomed apartment

'First time buyers frustrated by sky-high house prices will be particularly interested as the builders for the project, Barratt Homes, are proposing almost 300 mini apartment iPads.'

icWales.co.uk 23rd May 2006

If you'd like to get a foot on the UK property ladder, all you need to do in 2006 is raise funds of around £80,000, and you could become the owner of an iPad, a dinky little residence of approximately 380 square feet (35 m²). Home cute home!

aimed at struggling first-time buyers, iPads are designed as affordable housing

The brainchild of UK property developer Barratt, the iPad is the latest take on the concept of a 'starter home'. It is smaller than an average one-bedroomed flat (which is usually about 500 square feet or 46 m²), but bigger than a studio apartment. iPads are designed to be compact, but stylish and functional living spaces, including a fully-fitted kitchen area, separate bedroom and proper bathroom. There are currently three designs: 'traditional' for villages, and 'neo' and 'contemporary' for urban environments, with features such as circular windows. Aimed at struggling first-time buyers, iPads are designed as affordable housing. They are priced at between £80,000 and £124,995 depending on their location in the UK, with the maximum price just below the £125,000 threshold which requires the payment of stamp duty.

Background – iPad

The name iPad almost certainly takes its inspiration from iPod – the popular MP3 player which enables a large amount of music to be squeezed onto one, handy unit – and a play on the word pad, an informal way of referring to someone's home. Interestingly however, executives at property developer Barratt deny any kind of link to the word iPod, and have registered the term iPad as an independent trademark.

The term iPod is a trademarked brand of MP3 player designed and marketed by Apple Computers. The use of the letter i originated with one of the company's other products, the iMac, a brand of personal computer shipped with everything necessary for connection to the Web (where i stood for Internet). However, the use of the prefix i had such a positive impact on brand recognition that the company adopted it more widely (e.g. iTunes) and associated it with other concepts such as 'individual' and 'independence'. So far-reaching has been the social and cultural impact of the company's 'i-products', that the generation of young people born in the late 1980s is sometimes now referred to as the iGeneration.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 11th September 2006.

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