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10 years with the iconic iPad: How has the device evolved?



The year 2020 marked a decade with the iPad. This iconic device was first launched by the visionary Steve Jobs in January 2010, after which it reached its first users in April. Jobs famously described the device as filling the gap between a smartphone and a computer. The goal was to create something that did certain tasks better than both a phone and a laptop or desktop PC. There is actually a good chance that you are currently keeping one to read this blog! We acknowledged the device’s long journey and thought it would be interesting to look at the history and evolution of the revolutionary iPad that transformed the market for good.

2010: The first iPad

Apple iPad

Let’s go back to when the magic first started. Apple began experimenting with the idea of ​​a tablet before the first iPhone was launched. But in the end, the company decided that the smartphone was more important. So the iPad was delayed a few years and was first unveiled to the world by the late Steve Jobs on January 27, 2010.

The original iPad had square edges similar to the current iPad Pros, Apple’s A4 processor and up to 10 hours of battery life. But did you know it did not have a camera?

About 300,000 iPads were sold at launch, and in about a month it had reached one million. Towards the end of 2010, iPads Mac sales fell quarter-on-quarter, perhaps due to the attractive $ 499 price point.

2011: iPad 2

Apple iPad 2

About a year after the original iPad, we got the lighter, thinner iPad 2. It was especially the first tablet with a rear and forward-facing camera along with support for Smart Covers. This classic device was specifically aimed at the education sector, but was embraced by all people and became a cornerstone of Apple products. It was supported by six versions of iOS.

2012: iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad Mini

iPad 3, 4 and iPad Mini

The iPad 3’s defining feature was a Retina display that had four times the number of pixels on the iPad 2. It retained the same design but had an upgraded 5MP camera.

Then it was quickly followed by the iPad 4 which had FaceTime HD and a lightning port. This was the first Apple tablet to knock out the 30-pin connector. About the same time, we got the first iPad Mini that was originally designed to compete with Amazon Kindles and Google Nexus tablets.

2013: iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display

iPad Air with Retina display

2013 gave us the first iPad Air, which, as the name suggests, was much thinner and lighter. It also had upgraded cameras, slimmer frames and an A7 processor combined with an M7 motion coprocessor. Furthermore, Apple also upgraded the iPad Mini with a new Retina display.

2014: iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

The 2014 iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 both included Touch ID for the first time. However, Pad’s popularity began to wane in the face of larger smartphones such as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Maybe that’s why Apple from the following year changed the strategy for the iPad line with the first tablet at the pro level.

2015: iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4

iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4

September 2015 gave us the first iPad Pro with an A9X processor and 4 GB of RAM. It also boasts the very first Smart Connector port that allowed users to connect to the Smart Keyboard without Bluetooth.

We also got the first Apple Pencil that stood out from other pens with its low latency, angle detection and pressure sensitivity. At the same time iPad mini 4 with A8 processor and 2 GB RAM.

2016: iPad Pro 9.7 inches

iPad Pro 9.7 inches

The 9.7-inch iPad was actually a smaller version of the 12.9-inch model, but it included some unique features such as True Tone display technology. Furthermore, it was available for the first time in the exquisite pink gold color choice.

It was also the year Apple began separating iOS for iPad from that for iPhone. iOS 9 included the multitasking features that we all love now, such as Split View, Slide Over and Picture in Picture.

2017: Reimagined iPad and Two Models of iPad Pro

iPad 9.7 inches and iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9 inches

In March 2017, Apple experimented and dropped the Air moniker from the iPad while upgrading the interface. It also launched two new iPad pros. The 10.5- and 12.9-inch models had 30% faster performance and 40% better graphics than previous iterations.

2018: Again, a new iPad and two models of iPad Pro

2018 iPad

The iPad Pro received a significant overhaul in 2018 without a Home button and ultra-thin frames. Face ID and gesture-based controls added to the speed and usefulness of this gorgeous device.

Furthermore, it contained a USB-C port instead of the quick connector, an A12 Bionic chipset and a dazzling new Liquid Retina display.

The storage capacity went up to 1 TB for the first time, and the cameras were upgraded. Furthermore, a new generation Apple Pencil can now be magnetically attached to the iPad Pro and charged.

The base iPad missed out on most of these modern features, but remained much less expensive.

2019: 10.2-inch iPad, new iPad Air and iPad Mini

2019 iPad, iPad Air and Mini models

2018 gave us a new base model iPad, an iPad mini and third generation iPad Air. The new entry-level iPad was Apple’s most affordable tablet, made even better by iPadOS, which included exclusive multitasking features such as opening more windows in the same app and better text editing.

Second, the new iPad mini was like a smaller iPad Pro with Apple’s latest silicon and other internal upgrades.

Similarly, the third generation iPad Air offered tremendous value for money with support for the first generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

2020: New iPad lineup

2020 iPad model

Perhaps in celebration of the decade of the iPad, Apple has made this year a big one for its iconic tablet. The original iPad has been updated with the A12 Bionic chip and an elegant look. Furthermore, the spectacular new iPad Air has the most advanced A14 processor and is compatible with the new Magic Keyboard with the trackpad. The latest iPad pros are just as impressive with the A12Z Bionic chipset and an 8-core GPU. All indications are that these tablets also face stiff competition from laptops. Furthermore, the addition of a LiDAR scanner points to even more exciting innovations to come.

Summing Up

The iPad has sealed its place as a leader when it comes to innovation in the tablet. It will be exciting to see how Apple makes it even more of a viable alternative to a full-fledged computer in the time to come.

I have been writing about technology for over 10 years now. I am passionate about helping people solve their technical problems with simple and practical solutions. At iGeeksBlog, I write and edit tutorials and reviews of accessories for all things Apple. My work has previously appeared in magazines for Live IT and Woman’s Era. When I’m not working, I love reading and traveling.

Suraj is a digital marketing expert on iGB’s team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for the iPhone, the Apple Watch. Aside from blogging, he enjoys exercising as much as he can in his gym and loves listening to retro music.


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