19/03/2018 – 2:37pm
The iPhone may be Apple’s money maker, but the iPad is also one of the company’s most popular devices. Like the iPhone and smartphones, the iPad is largely credited with defining the modern tablet market. Next month it will be eight years since the original iPad debuted. With that, we thought it would be a good time to look back and traverse the history of the iPad road.
Things all kicked off when the original iPad was introduced in April 2010. The original iPad looks archaic by today’s standard, with a relatively fat, curved body and wide bezels. The original iPad shipped with Apple’s A4 processor and featured a 9.7in display. It also came in two models: Wi-Fi only or cellular + Wi-Fi.
A year later Apple unveiled the iPad 2. This iPad was markedly thinner than the first. It was also the first to come in white or black models and the first to feature a front camera for FaceTime video calls.
The iPad (3rd generation), as it’s known, had mainly internal improvements over the iPad 2. However, the biggest difference was the addition of the Retina display–a first for the iPad line. The iPad (3rd generation) was also the shortest-lived. Apple discontinued it just seven months after its introduction. In October 2012 Apple introduced the iPad (4th generation). It was the first iPad to ship with the new Lightning connector.
The same time Apple unveiled the iPad (4th generation) it also unveiled the first iPad mini. It featured a 7.9in display, however, it was not a Retina display. The main feature of the mini was, of course, its size.
The following year Apple introduced the iPad Air. The Air was radically thinner than any iPad before it. Beyond internal spec bumps, the thinness of the Air was its main feature. At the same time, Apple introduced the iPad mini 2. Its big feature was the addition of the Retina display.
The iPad Air 2 the next year was even thinner than the original Air and added Touch ID to the iPad for the first time. Alongside the Air 2, Apple introduced the iPad mini 3, featuring the same Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
2015 also saw the release of a new iPad–the iPad Pro. This massive iPad featured a 12.9in display. The Pro also introduced the Smart Connector for better accessory support and support for the new Apple Pencil, a stylus that allows users to markup the screen and interact with the iPad Pro.
In 2016, Apple introduced a smaller 9.7in version of the iPad Pro. This smaller Pro was also the first iPad to feature a True Tone Flash and Retina Flash.
Back to the “Regular” iPad line: Apple ditched the “Air” name with the 2017 iPad model. This iPad featured internal spec bumps and a lower retail price than previous iPads. Likewise, the iPad mini 4, unveiled at the same time, primarily featured internal spec bumps.
In 2017, Apple also introduced the second generation iPad Pro line. This included a 12.9in screen size as well as a new 10.5in iPad Pro. As for what is in store for the future of the iPad line, it’s rumored the iPad Pro will lose the Home button and gain Face ID sometime in 2018.
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