Today marks the iPad’s 10th anniversary, one of Steve Jobs’ last product announcements

The iconic Apple iPad is 10 years old, or at least the unveiling of the tablet has reached this milestone. It was 10 years ago today that the late Steve Hobs unveiled the Apple tablet at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
iPad tenth anniversary
The original iPad was a huge hit for Apple, and paved the way for several further tablet releases. Photo: Yutaka Tsutano via Flickr.

Jobs’ final project

While Apple has always been associated with innovation, the iPad was one of the last major projects unveiled by Jobs before his untimely death in 2011. The Apple founder and CEO believed that there was space in the market for a new device category between the smartphone and laptop, and his opinion on the subject has been absolutely vindicated over the years.

Central to the ethos of the iPad from day one was delivering certain tasks in a way that was superior to either a smartphone or laptop, thus justifying the existence of the tablet. Jobs had introduced the iPad as a “magical and revolutionary device”, with the first release aimed at web browsing, reading, sending email, and consuming media, along with some game playing.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price. 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,” Jobs had stated at the time.

iPad tenth anniversary
The original iPad is pictured here in its carry case; portability has been a big selling point of the device. Photo: Yutaka Tsutano via WIkimedia.

Massive commercial success

If there was any scepticism about the need for the tablet computer, this soon dissipated when the iPad turned out to be a massive commercial success. While the computer has become ever more complicated with later releases, the original iPad was a formidable machine in its own right.

Featuring a 9.7-inch display, a single-core Apple A4 processor, up to 64GB of storage, 256MB of RAM, and 10 hours worth of battery life, the ability of the iPad to tap into Bluetooth was also hugely appreciated. Interestingly, the original iPad did not include a camera, something that Apple has rectified in later releases.

While there were other laptop and notebook products around at the time that were intended to be particularly portable, the iPad was only 0.5 inches thick and weighed only 1.5 pounds, leading to claims from the mega-corporation that it was the thinnest and the lightest computer available at the time.

iPad tenth anniversary
The iPad first and second generations sit side-by-side in this photograph. Photo: Mauricio Pesce via Flickr.

Big sales

The iPad certainly caught on quickly with consumers, with Apple shifting 300,000 iPads almost immediately when it was released on April 3, 2010. Went unveiling the second generation of the iPad 11 months later, Jobs stated that Apple has sold over 50 million iPads during the first nine months of its existence.

While the tablet computer has been continually slimmed down and improved in quality in the years that followed, no iPad has had the impact of that initial release, which truly helped to transform computing.

Sadly, Jobs passed away due to endocrine cancer just six months after the release of the second iPad, but his legacy lives on.

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