In 1983, Steve Jobs stated his company’s intention to ‘put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes’ and though Apple enjoyed mediocre success with their initial tablet design in the nineties, they shelved the efforts due to problems with the technology and significantly higher retail prices.
Yet the re-introduction in 2010 of an Apple tablet, the iPad, was a technological revolution; the introduction of such a detailed touch interface has been described as a milestone in the development of tablet computers. It was widely praised for its versatility and many reviewers believed that it would develop into a serious competitor for netbooks and laptops. The introduction of a 3G –enabled model, around a month after the initial launch, led some fans to suggest that the iPad could render the iPhone, and other mobile devices, obsolete.
The touch-screen was one of the original iPad’s defining features, the fingerprint and scratch-resistant glass, liquid crystal display and, unlike the iPhone before it, a four-orientation, multi-touch screen rotation meaning it could be held any way the user desired. The iPad was available in three different flash memory sizes (16GB, 32GB or 64GB) with a uniform 9.7inch display across the range. The original iPad was the heaviest ever produced, weighing in at 1.6lbs, but still boasted an impressive battery life of 10 hours even when in constant use (and a month of standby life). Apple powered the original iPad using a unique, custom-built 1 GHz Apple A4 system, and its other consumer-pleasing features included the ambient light sensor, built in microphone and dual mono speakers.
The ability to use the iPad much as you would a computer, allowing users to do everything from browsing the web to watching movies, left users inspired by the iPad. Its success was unprecedented, selling more than 15 million tablets worldwide prior to the launch of the iPad 2.