The History of the iPad: How Did It Get Here
The third-generation iPad is surprisingly not called the iPad 3. Instead, Apple has decided to abandon numerical titles and called it “The New iPad.” It is the third tablet release from Apple and the hardware continues to advance at a rapid pace. We will not be focusing on the new iPad in this article or what features it offers. Instead, let’s take a look at the general history and conception behind the tablet.
Evolution of the iPad
The original iPad was launched in April of 2010 and the iPad 2 was launched in March of 2011. Both had the Wi-Fi and 3G versions released at different times during their respective launch months. The latest model just launched on March 16, 2012 in Wi-Fi and 4G LTE models.
The original iPad caught the tech world by storm due to its success despite having such conservative specs by 2010 standards. Its A4 SOC (system-on-chip) included only a single-core CPU with 256MB of RAM in its SOC — and was soon overshadowed by the iPhone 4.
The iPad 2 came packed with a lot of improvements. It featured a dual-core CPU and twice as much RAM as the original iPad (512MB) in its A5 SOC. It also features a thinner and lighter form factor along with a camera attached that was greatly anticipated. The new iPad features all around improvements in hardware, although the leap is the greatest when it comes to its display. It now features a Retina screen capable of producing 2048×1536 resolutions with a pixel density of 264 ppi. The SOC is called A5X and offers a quad-core GPU, and the same dual-core CPU along with an improved 1GB of RAM.
Apple is a hardware company today and not as much of a software company. However, Apple has been introducing new software overtime for iOS and iPad. Examples of such software include iWork, iMovie, and GarageBand. Let’s hope these products continue to evolve as they have from the first to the second iPad when the camera became available on the tablet. Maybe Apple will have something in store for the newly released new (Retina) iPad. Either way, other companies continue to push software on the tablet. Adobe, for example, has recently introduced Photoshop Touch that brings the desktop Photoshop to the tablet in a light fashion (it is exclusive to the iPad 2 and above though).
The iOS ecosystem also evolved and things like iCloud and PC Free finally made sense for Apple as the tablet evolved into much more than an oversized iPod Touch. The original iPad never really had multitasking capabilities at launch.
After looking at it retrospectively, the first iPad was really a test product that allowed Apple to see how the public would react to a tablet that shares more features with a Smartphone than with a laptop. It was really a way to test the demand for the form factors, and not necessarily software exclusive to it. Microsoft or rivals never really found success in the “Tablet PC” among average consumers, so Apple was right to be cautious.
Many of us now laugh at the miserable amount of RAM the iPad originally launched with, and the lack of features like multitasking or a camera peripheral. One of the biggest shockers, however, was how it launched without the industry standard USB slot. Apple is known for propriety, but no one really expected the iPad not to have a USB slot and still be called a tablet.
There was a lot of skepticism before its launch and even industry experts and analysts were not sure how consumers would respond to it. However, to much surprise, Apple exceeded expectations and broke them even further with the iPad 2 launch.
iPad May Be Apple’s Most Important Device
Out of all other Macs and iDevices, the iPad may be the one device that means the most to Apple and will represent the future of the company. The Cupertino tech giant may be setting the stage for which direction the company will go since the passing of Steve Jobs. The iPad may be the device that truly bridges gaps between other computing devices, as well as the consumer gadget of choice for computing.
According to TechBlock, “The iPad is more important to Apple than any other device, and not because it’s their biggest money-maker – it isn’t (although I bet it will be soon). Rather, it epitomizes Apple’s rekindled emphasis on innovation, blazing a trail in a market of its own creation and, almost single-handedly, fueling the post-PC movement.”
The idea of a post-PC device is still a bit of a mystery among many consumers. It is also a phrase, which Jobs coined, that goes over the head of those who grew up with Macs and Windows PCs. Many of those users rely on a desktop so much that they wouldn’t even look at or touch a tablet – whether an iPad or any other variant. Many of them simply refuse to believe productivity will ever be possible on such a form factor, and cling onto deep apps that are exclusive to Windows and Mac OS X platforms.
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