The iPad Story is the story of how Apple revolutionized the tablet industry and forever changed the way people interact with technology. In April 2010, Apple released the first generation iPad to a world that had yet to experience a device so sleek, light and powerful. With its intuitive design and user-friendly operating system, it quickly captured the hearts and minds of millions around the globe.
A brief history of the iPad, Apple’s once and future tablet
The iPad was introduced to the world on April 3, 2012, when Apple shipped its first round of the tablet computer. Quickly it revolutionized the definition of tablets, becoming one of the most successful products in Apple’s history. It represented a new way for people to use computers, moving from traditional laptops to a more consumption-style device that combined all the features of a smartphone in an unexpectedly elegant design. With its capacitive touchscreen and touch-based interface, it made computing accessible and portable at the same time.
However despite achieving great success with sales and eventually even becoming part of cultural lexicon through movies and tv shows, recently mobile phones are becoming increasingly better in both form and function blurring the lines between them. This has caused some troubles around where exactly the iPad stands within modern technology as it struggles to keep up with bigger phones every year. Nevertheless its place as a revolutionary product will be remembered as having pushed tablets towards becoming what they are today.
In the beginning
Apple has been playing with the idea of tablets since the early 1990s. Their Newton MessagePad PDA, released in 1993, was a black-and-white device that relied solely on a stylus for input, making it one of the earliest tablets on the market. The PenLite prototype was their next attempt and while it appeared more powerful than its predecessor, Apple ultimately decided not to ship it.
In 2004, Jonathan Ive and others prototyped a new tablet that initially planned to come before the iPhone, though the company came to believe that the latter would be more successful and so released it first in 2007. Rumors regarding when Apple would finally put out a tablet began circulating soon after as speculation surrounding what it might be called and what kind of features it might have grew. Eventually these rumors were quelled with the introduction of the iPad in 2010.
The first generation
The iPad first generation was a revolutionary device that completely changed the way people interacted with technology. Preorders for the iPad began on March 12, 2010 with the U.S. release date of April 3rd and became a fast seller as it could be used both online or in Apple’s outlets. In addition to being available in Wi-Fi models at launch, 3G-capable models were also made available on April 30th but only through AT&T with either an unlimited or 250-megabyte plan as an option.
It had some interesting features such as using the application processor, A4, designed by Apple with the takeover of PA Semi in addition to a 9.7 inch 1024 by 768 pixel display with options for up to 64 gigabytes of storage which could store plenty of data and media files. Having a multi-touch interface brought to a larger display than what an iPhone could offer gave it laptop capabilities but kept it more lightweight than a regular laptop making it more desirable as you didn’t have to lug it around everywhere if needed providing convenience when traveling or just needing something quick for taking notes or checking emails.
“The new iPad” & iPad mini
The third-generation iPad, released in 2012, completely changed the way users interacted with their tablets. It was the first device to incorporate a Retina display and it included a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics. In addition, this model featured 4G LTE connectivity which made it easier for users to connect to the internet without needing to use Wi-Fi hotspots. However, even though the specs of this third generation iPad were ahead of its time, it was considered underpowered when compared to devices that sported similar displays.
A fourth generation iPad soon followed after and featured an improved A6X processor along with FaceTime HD capability and wider LTE compatibility. This model became the first iPad to adopt a Lightning port instead of the standard 30-pin connector. As consumer demands shifted towards smaller tablets like those found on Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7, Apple introduced the iPad mini which had specs that closely resembled iPads 2 but was much lighter and smaller in size at only 7.9 inches in width. With this release Apple answered consumer needs while still maintaining high quality within their product lines.
Apple offers the iPad Pro and Mini 4
The iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Mini 4 represent a major leap forward in tablet technology. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the flagship of the family and boasts an A9X processor, 4 GB of DDR4 RAM, a Smart Connector port and an optional (but expensive) $99 Apple-made stylus called the Apple Pencil with pressure sensitivity, low latency response time and angle detection capabilities. While praised by many, some have criticized it for its high price tag and awkward Lightning connector placement that makes the pen stick out like a spike when plugged in.
In March 2016, Apple released the 9.7 inch Pro; it was slightly slower than its larger brother (an A9X vs an A9 processor) but boasted 2GB of RAM plus new features like Retina Flash for better front facing photos as well as True Tone flash on the rear to adjust color temperature according to ambient lighting. The Mini 4 also came out at this time, offering great luxury features despite being smaller in size. All these products and features combine to make sure that iPads remain one of the most sought after tablets on the market today.