Today Marks the 10th Anniversary of Steve Jobs Unveiling the iPad

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs unveiling the iPad at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It was one of the last major products that he unveiled before his death in 2011.

Jobs argued that there was room for a new device category between the smartphone and the laptop, but only if that device was superior at some tasks. He then introduced the iPad as exactly that, referring to it as a "magical and revolutionary device" for browsing the web, reading and sending email, viewing photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading ebooks, and more.

"iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price," said Jobs. "iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."

The original iPad featured a 9.7-inch display, a single-core Apple A4 processor, up to 64GB of storage, 256MB of RAM, an advertised 10 hours of battery life, Bluetooth 2.1, a 30-pin dock connector, and a headphone jack. Wi-Fi-only models started at $499 in the United States, while models with both Wi-Fi and 3G cellular connectivity started at $629. Notably, the original iPad lacked cameras.

At only 0.5 inches thick and weighing just 1.5 pounds, Apple said the iPad was thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook at the time.

Apple released the iPad on April 3, 2010 and, one day later, the company announced that it had already sold over 300,000 iPads. When unveiling the iPad 2 in March 2011, Jobs gave an update on this figure, revealing that Apple sold nearly 15 million iPads during its first nine months of availability.

Over the last decade, a new generation of the iPad has been released every year, with several new features and design changes along the way. We've recapped some of the bigger milestones in the device's history below:
  • March 2011 — iPad 2: 33% thinner, up to 15% lighter, dual-core Apple A5 processor, front and rear cameras, and new white color option
  • March 2012 — Third-generation iPad: Retina display, 4G LTE, Apple A5X processor, and 1080p video recording
  • October 2012 — Fourth-generation iPad: Lightning connector and Apple A6X processor
  • October 2012 — iPad mini: 7.9-inch display
  • October 2013 — iPad Air: 64-bit Apple A7 processor, 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the fourth-generation iPad, and slimmer bezels
  • October 2014 — iPad Air 2: Touch ID, fully-laminated Retina display, and Apple A8X processor
  • September 2015 — iPad Pro: 12.9-inch Retina display, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, Apple A9X processor, and four speakers
  • March 2017 — Fifth-generation iPad: $329 starting price with 9.7-inch Retina display and Apple A9 processor
  • June 2017 — Second-generation iPad Pro: ProMotion refresh rate of up to 120Hz, Apple A10X Fusion chip, and slimmer bezels
  • March 2018 — Sixth-generation iPad: $329 starting price with Apple Pencil support and Apple A10 processor
  • October 2018 — Third-generation iPad Pro: Major redesign with slimmer bezels, Face ID, USB-C connector, Apple A12X Bionic processor, up to 1TB of storage, and second-generation Apple Pencil support
  • September 2019 — Seventh-generation iPad: 10.2-inch Retina display and full-sized Smart Keyboard support
Looking ahead, rumors suggest that Apple will refresh its iPad Pro lineup as early as March. A key new feature is expected to be a triple-lens rear camera system with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality.

Top Rated Comments

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3 weeks ago
Best iPad ever made that is still supported to this day, with no known issues and at the same price points as the original iPad.

Rating: 13 Votes
3 weeks ago
I remember that everybody made fun of the name, saw memes of attachable magnifying glasses for your iPhone to turn it into an iPad and the general feeling of “why would you buy this, this is just a large iPhone you can’t even call with”.

And as always, Apple proved us all wrong and i love my iPad for exactly the reasons Steve Jobs had told us we would love it for.

That’s vision!
Rating: 8 Votes
3 weeks ago
Still my favourite Apple device so far. Thank you Steve!!
Rating: 7 Votes
3 weeks ago
I remember watching this keynote and feeling so sad at how frail Steve Jobs looked. But when he sat on that couch and demonstrated his latest brainchild, he seemed so content, calm, and full of life.

No doubt about it: Steve changed the world. ?
Rating: 6 Votes
3 weeks ago
Can't believe it's already been 10 years!

I waited in line at the Apple Store in Boston to get that iPad

Even back then the apps were incredible! They have improved immensely since..
Rating: 5 Votes
3 weeks ago
Maybe it is just me but the development for the iPad is not as fast as I would have liked it to be. They really dropped the ball on software progress somewhere around the iPad Air / iPad Air 2 time.

Glad to see that it is getting better since the iPad Pro era, but so far they have fallen short on the future of computing promise.
Rating: 5 Votes
3 weeks ago

10 years on and the iPad still hasn't got out of first gear.

I have a completely different experience. I regularly use my 2018 12.9 Pro when on the road. It is my meeting notebook; a great device for reviewing and updating documents; and can be used to run two windows at the same time in a usable way, especially when paired with a good physical keyboard.

It isn’t a full replacement for my laptop, but that is more due to limits the app developers apply rather than any fundamental limit within iPadOS or the hardware. If Microsoft made their iOS apps feature-matched to the desktop apps then I could ditch the laptop completely.

Now, I know that there will be people who are coders or have other needs that there is no app available to do what they do. That’s cool, the iPad isn’t going to replace their laptop or desktop. But for many people it will do everything they need.
Rating: 4 Votes
3 weeks ago

Waiting for the snobby “it’s just a toy” posts

It's not a toy. It's just a different class of computing device that is better at some things and worse at others.
The "its just a giant iPhone that can't make calls" brigade just hadn't sat down and thought what you could do with a giant iPhone without needing to make calls.

I browsed this thread on my iPad sitting in a comfy chair. To reply, I fired up my iMac, because selecting and quoting bits of text, typing and editing text on an iPad is like kicking a dead whale along a beach. Yes, you can do it which is great if you're on the road and don't want to lug a full laptop (and if you're just jotting text without editing or revising it, its not so bad), but given the choice...

BTW... I've been watching old reviews of those "other" tablets and it's crazy that "has Flash" was one of their biggest selling points back then.

I still remember the Blackberry tablet add 'And it has flash to play games' I completely except consumers not to have a vision for the future but giant tech companies? was a superficially sensible decision given the huge amount of Flash games and other rich internet content out there at the time. What few people realised was how much of that was barely usable on a tablet due to the small screen and touch-only interface - ranging from the buttons/icons simply being too small to some drag/drop logic simply not working with touch (limited processing power didn't help). Even today I don't think many people really "get" the different affordances of multitouch vs. Keyboard/mouse/pointer.

The inconvenient truth that Apple "got" was that tablets and phones need custom-designed apps, not warmed-over desktop apps.

Somehow, though, Android has managed to produce a credible competitor to iPhone, but Android tablets are relegated to the bargain bucket or subsidised Amazon cash-register market - though they're perfectly good as an armchair web-browser.

[S]The only non-iPad with significant marketshare*[/S] seems to be the MS Surface Pro, but that's basically a laptop PC where the keyboard costs extra. Apple seem to be the only ones developing tablet as a serious computing device - which is fine and dandy as long as they realise its not a replacement for "full-size" laptops or desktops.

(* Edit: I retract the above brainfart about market share - but I'd say it was the most heavily-promoted pro - i.e. aimed at content creation rather than consumption - tablet other than the iPad)
Rating: 3 Votes
3 weeks ago

It’s important to remember that Apple used to compete fiercely on price, and without sacrificing any of the elegance for which its products are known.

The first iPad launched at $499 for the entry model.

The current day entry level iPad is $329.

Nostalgia is a beautiful animal to slay.
Rating: 3 Votes
3 weeks ago
Hard to believe this was only 10 years ago. I still have a classic iPad 2 running iOS 6 - still a brilliant device even if it can’t run most modern apps, or websites.

If Apple release an iPad OS with support for multiple users, I’d buy a new one.
Rating: 3 Votes

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