The iPad Launched 14 Years Ago Today as Longest-Ever Wait for New Models Continues

Apple launched the original iPad 14 years ago today, starting a product line that has gone on to define the tablet space and entry-level computing, spur a shift in how media is consumed, and have immense cultural impact.

steve jobs ipad 2010
The original ‌iPad‌ launched on April 3, 2010. Designed to bridge the gap between the laptop and the smartphone, the ‌iPad‌ offered a unique combination of portability, ease of use, and versatility that appealed to a wide range of consumers and professionals.

At the heart of the ‌iPad‌'s success was its sleek design and simple iOS user interface. The 9.7-inch touchscreen provided users with an immersive experience that was unmatched at the time. Its initial release boasted 16 to 64 gigabytes of storage, a 30-pin connector, Wi-Fi connectivity, and, on some models, 3G connectivity. This combination of features and the quality of its build set it apart from competitors, establishing the ‌iPad‌ as a premium option in the emerging tablet market.

The ‌iPad‌ catalyzed a shift in the software industry, leading to the development of apps designed specifically for its larger screen, which increasingly differed from the smartphone applications of the time. This app ecosystem rapidly expanded, with developers creating a wide range of applications from productivity tools and games to educational software. The ‌iPad‌ went on to be vital to the education market and many mobile workflows.

The lineup has since expanded to include new models like the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. The introduction of the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard further transformed the ‌iPad‌ from a simple media consumption device to a tool designed for creativity and productivity. visionOS, the operating system behind the Apple Vision Pro headset, is also based on iPadOS to a large extent.

Today, it has been almost 18 months since any new iPads have launched – the longest-ever wait for new models. 2023 was the only year since the ‌iPad‌'s introduction with no new iPad models. Apple is now expected to release refreshed ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌ models in May, with updates to the entry-level ‌iPad‌ and the ‌iPad mini‌ tabled for later in the year.

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Top Rated Comments

gpat Avatar
1 week ago
14 years ago, Jobs said that the iPad would usher the world to the post-PC era....
... and it failed miserably since people continue to use PCs and Macs more than ever.
All thanks to the awfully limited iPad OS.
It could have killed the traditional computer but they preferred to just sell both as incomplete devices.
Good job, Tim.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ctrlos Avatar
1 week ago
The only people waiting patiently are Apple’s shareholders and YouTubers. As it currently stands all existing models more than fulfil their role incredibly well.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
1 week ago
It was a larger iPhone which isn't a bad thing at all - it meant that millions of people already knew how to use it without having touched it.

I miss the product introductions of old.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tyson14zoll Avatar
1 week ago

14 years ago, Jobs said that the iPad would usher the world to the post-PC era....
... and it failed miserably since people continue to use PCs and Macs more than ever.
All thanks to the awfully limited iPad OS.
It could have killed the traditional computer but they preferred to just sell both as incomplete devices.
Good job, Tim.
Visual artists around the world disagree with you
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fuzzball84 Avatar
1 week ago

No, it failed because it was nothing more than a glorified phone without a SIM card. There's almost no reason to buy it if you've got a smartphone.

It's also essentially a crippled laptop.. it really doesn't do anything exceptionally well.
Tablets have their place... many people use them over laptops and iPhones etc for a reason.

If you see it as a crippled laptop... then obviously you need a laptop, and not a tablet.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
1 week ago

14 years ago, Jobs said that the iPad would usher the world to the post-PC era....
... and it failed miserably since people continue to use PCs and Macs more than ever.
All thanks to the awfully limited iPad OS.
It could have killed the traditional computer but they preferred to just sell both as incomplete devices.
Good job, Tim.
Steve specifically said it was not going to “kill” traditional PCs.
In fact, during the all things digital 2010 conference, he specifically compared the iPad to a car, while the traditional PC is like a truck.
The vast majority of consumers can get by with a car, but there will always be those subset that absolutely need a truck.

And he was absolutely right, for the majority of the general public, the iPad fulfills all of the needs that a traditional computer used to.
Especially those who are, shall we say, more tech illiterate.
The iPad is literally the perfect device for those types of people.

And you can see this in the sales numbers, Apple sells at least double the amount of iPads then they do Macintosh computers, because that’s all most people need.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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