It’s been seven years since Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPad – the device that kick started the tablet market and gave customers a laptop alternative and a new way to use apps.
Apple, still riding high on the success of the iPhone three years earlier, introduced the iPad at a special event on January 28, 2010 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
And I was there. Not as the Tech Guide editor but in my previous position as News Limited’s technology writer.
There were plenty of rumours flying around before the event about what Apple was actually launching with the heaviest speculation around a tablet device.
“We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical and revolutionary product today,” Steve Jobs said shortly walking onstage to huge applause.
That product, of course, was the iPad which had a 9.7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 and was 24.3cm long, 19cm wide and 1.34cm thick with memory capacities at 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
Jobs began the keynote speculating there was room between the smartphone and the laptop for an entirely new category of devices.
At that time, netbooks – smaller versions of laptops – were quite popular but Jobs dismissed this as the answer.
This new category of product had to offer a superior experience for browsing, viewing photos, listening to music, watching videos and reading ebooks.
And that’s exactly what the iPad set out to offer.
To demonstrate the product, Jobs sat down on a couch on the edge of the stage.
“It’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smartphone,” he said.
Apple went on to sell 300,000 iPads on the first day they went on sale on April 3, 2010 and would crack the million mark in less than a month.
It went on sale in Australia in late May, 2010 with crowds camping out overnight at Apple Stores to be among the first to get their hands on it.
Today the iPad represents a major part of the Apple business.
Other major companies like Samsung and Microsoft have also gone on to release popular tablet devices as well running Android and Windows.
Since that day in 2010, Apple went to launch the iPad 2 in 2011, the third-generation iPad in 2012, the fourth generation in November 2012 with a Lightning port, the redesigned iPad Air in November 2013 and the iPad Air 2 in 2014.
A smaller iPad Mini was launched in October 2012 followed by the Mini 2 in 2013, the Mini 3 in 2014 and the iPad Mini 4 in September 2015.
The iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen was unveiled in September 2015 and was followed by a 9.7-inch iPad Pro in March 2016.