In late January 2010, Steve Jobs took the stage and unveiled a mind blowing product, that was seen as unnecessary at first and indispensable afterwards. I’m talking about the Apple iPad, first criticized for being a bigger iPod touch and then hailed at the killer of all PCs, notebooks and netbooks.
Jobs dismissed the netbooks, saying they “aren’t better at anything” and showed the world the iPad, a device placed somewhere between a smartphone and laptop. We take the iPad for granted today, but it took a lot of work and prototypes to reach this point. Early on, even the name was a problem, since the product seemed to remind people of a feminine hygiene product.
Weeks after the April 2010 store debut, it was clear that the computing world had changed. There were a lot of apps to play with, everything was simple and intuitive and surfing the web was brilliant on the tablet. The whole computer experience was rethought and Apple even managed to sell more iPads than some companies sell PCs, in a sense something they always wanted to do (sell more PCs than the competition).
Tablets are omnipresent today, killing the smart TVs and laptops, even if the growth has slowed down. Where would we be today without the iPad? It’s true that other companies have toyed with this idea, but none of them has given it the needed physical form.