The History of the First iPad (10th Anniversary!) – Krazy Ken’s Tech Talk

– [Steve] Apple’s
strategy is really simple. What we wanna do is we wanna put an incredibly
great computer in a book that you can carry around with you, that you can learn how
to use in 20 minutes. (inspirational upbeat music) (funky tech music) – Hey, guys, how are you all doing? Really, that’s just great. You know, I’m doing pretty great today too because today is the
10th anniversary of when Steve Jobs revealed
the iPad to the public. Fun fact, this is actually one
of the first iPads ever sold and it still works just fine. I stood in line, actually
at the front of the line, early in the morning on launch day and I tell you, that was an
experience I will never forget. But there was a lot that went
into the iPad’s development, there’s a lot of history here and as the speculated
announcement date drew near, the hype, the buzz and the rumors were
just brewing like crazy. So let’s take a look at
the history of the iPad. In 1968, computer scientist
and former Apple Fellow, Alan Kay, created the Dynabook concept, which was a thin, portable computer. Throughout the years
it went through several conceptual iterations but
it was never made into an actual product but many
believe, myself included, that this was at least
part of the inspiration for an Apple tablet device. Heck, even after the
iPhone keynote in 2007, Steve showed the iPhone to Alan and Alan gestured his
hands into the shape of a tablet saying, Steve make it this size and you’ll rule the world. So I think it’s fair to say there was some inspiration from Alan. Anyway, jumping back to
the past, now to 1983, Steve Jobs gave a speech at IDCA and said, Apple wants to put an incredibly
great computer in a book that you can carry around with you that you can learn how
to use in 20 minutes. Arguably, many could say that this was one of the earliest mentions of the iPad’s super early infancy. Perhaps when he said
book, he was referring to a form factor like the PowerBook 100, which came out in 1991
but I like to believe that he had more of a
tablet form factor in mind. Also Marcel Brown has a great
article about this speech and a full recording of it too. So I highly recommend giving it a listen because for the most part,
it predicted the future. Also in 1983, Apple
worked with Frog Design to mock up another tablet
prototype called Bashful and in 1988, Apple created a video about a concept product named,
Knowledge Navigator. This is another awesome gem
to watch because it shows off an iPad-like product with
Siri and FaceTime features. Stuff we all use today
well maybe except for Siri. (laughing while crowd boos) Hey, hey, hey, hey, cool it, okay, cool it, I was just kidding! Now between 1992 and 1993,
while the Newton team was hard at work, other people
at Apple were working to bring the Macintosh user interface to a tablet-like computer. This resulted in many different concepts, the first one being PenLite, which was based on the PowerBook Duo, then PenMac followed after that. There was also the
Macintosh Folio and the Bic and honestly if you just sit down with the AppleDesign book, you’ll see a plethora of tablet concepts. There’s so many things in here, we can do other episodes on this later. Ultimately, all of these
tablets were killed in favor of the Newton MessagePad, which was released in 1993. Also in the same year, Apple developed a prototype named WALT, which integrated the touch
kind of environment with a stylus, PowerBook 100 internals and phone-like functionality but again it was ultimately killed. The Newton line only
lasted for several years and the last Newton product
was the MessagePad 2100, which was released in 1997
and discontinued in 1998. That was the end of the Newton line. So Apple took many stabs
at this whole tablet idea and you’ll notice a lot of
them were based on styluses and pen input. There wasn’t much actual
finger, touch support and ultimately, that’s
where Apple wanted to go. Just like what we have today
with multi-touch technology. But you also have to remember
in the mid to late ’90s, Apple was in a lot of financial trouble and Steve Jobs wasn’t back
at the company until 1997. He helped restructure the
board and build a new strategy and Apple got back on their feet, they went onto release
the iPod and the iMac and all this great stuff
but during all of that, there was no talk about this tablet or there was very little talk about the tablet outside of Apple. It seems like the buzz kinda
went down a little bit. Where did it go? Well it turns out Apple was
still interested in the tablet but they put it on pause to focus on a new product category target
and that was the phone. Apple was working on a multi-touch display in the early 2000s but they
shelved the tablet product in favor of a phone because they thought that was more important at the time. There’s actually a great All
Things Digital interview, where Steve Jobs tells the
story behind this decision. – I actually started on the tablet first and I asked our folks,
could we come up with a multi-touch display and
about six months later they called me in and showed
me this prototype display and it was amazing. Now we were thinking about
building a phone at that time and when I saw the rubber
band and inertial scrolling and a few of the other
things, I thought, oh, my God, we can build a phone out of this. – So the iPhone went on to
sell pretty darn well, I mean, it’s still around today,
it’s super popular. So with that experience,
it looks like Apple learned a lot about touch and
they were ready to go back to the tablet project and as speculations about
the tablet project drew near, rumors, buzz, hype, fan-made concepts all started to flourish. Names like iSlate and iTablet
were tossed around a lot. Probably because Apple
purchased in 2007. More rumors started brewing when iProd0,1 and iProd1,1 appeared in
property lists inside of the iPhone OS 3.0 betas, back in 2009. Fun fact, this was
actually the first topic I covered on my tech
webcast many years ago. Goodness, I was such a geek! Anyway, some sites predicted
the tablet would be 10.7 inches, some speculated as to whether or not it would run iPhone OS or Mac OS 10 and some sites predicted
Apple would use the ARM Cortex architecture for the processor, which they actually did. Many people were also
speculating about the price. Some were saying $800 but
a lot of people were saying just under $1,000, which is code for 999. I was prepared for the worst. But all those name speculations we were talking about were about to die. (maniacal laughing) (fire crackling) Records surfaces showing Apple
was pursuing the name, iPad, but Fujitsu filed an application
for iPad in March 2003. No, we’re not talking
about the MadTV iPad. – Why use a maxi pad when
there’s the new iPad from Apple. I just hook up my Apple to my peach. (audience laughing) – But in the end, Apple
was able to use the name. So I guess, everybody’s happy. Hopefully. Then on January 18th, Apple
issued the invitations for their January 27th media event, “Come see our latest creation”. The hype was on! Then the day comes. The buzz was going out of control, I remember being in high
school on January 27th, dying to see what the device looked like. I was in class just waiting
and waiting and waiting. Then, less than an hour before
Steve Jobs took the stage, a photo surfaced on Gizmodo that showed the tablets
alleged rear shell, which many believed was authentic and if you recall the the final design of the first gen iPad, you would agree. So this is it, this is
the moment coming up where Steve Jobs is going to walk out on stage and reveal the iPad to the
world for the first time. But as with pretty much everything new, it was bound to be met
with some criticism. Steve Jobs took the stage and asked everybody in the
audience if there’s room for a third category of
device between a laptop and smartphone and after
poking fun at netbooks, he revealed the iPad. A 9.7-inch tablet, powered by
Apple’s A4 system-on-a-chip. Some people were like, “What? Don’t call it an iPad,
that sounds like a tampon”. And many people said it
was just a giant iPhone. – We took an iPod Touch
and made it bigger. – [Ken] I won’t lie, that’s
was my brain said when I first saw it too, but I wasn’t so quick
to dismiss the product. Additionally, others poked fun at Apple for calling it “magical” but
the iPad went on to sell over 360 million units within the first decade so early criticisms aside,
I think it did all right. The design was a half an inch thin and it weighed only 1.5 pounds. It featured an IPS
display, a 10-hour battery and it even came in a 3G option. It didn’t have a camera built in which may have disappointed
some people but don’t worry, they’ll fix that real soon. An interesting thing to note
is the 30-pin connector, just worked similarly to
the port on the iPhone and the iPod. Additionally, Apple shipped a
dock accessory for the iPad, including one that had
a keyboard built in. But that’s not the interesting part, the interesting part is that a later stage iPad prototype
had two 30-pin connectors, signifying that Apple toyed with the idea of docking the iPad in portrait
and landscape orientations but this idea was scrapped. On the software side the
iPad ran iPhone OS 3.2, this was before it was called iOS and it would run iPhone apps
natively without modification but Apple encouraged developers
to redesign their app UIs, to take advantage of the big screen. Additionally the built in
apps were redesigned versions of the iPhone apps and they adopted a more
skeuomorphic user interface. Which eventually leaked
it’s way into the iPhone and onto Mac OS 10. This led to some debates down the road but believe me that’s a
topic for a future video. Apple also released an iPad
version of the Apple iWork suite and they released iBooks so you can use the iPad as an E-reader. But one of the biggest
surprises was the cost. Again many were speculating
that it would be around 999 but when Apple showed the true price, it was met with applause. – Not at 999, but at just (glass smashing) $499! (audience applauding) (audience cheering) – Through the following years, the iPad received many updates,
including the iPad mini and the iPad Pro and hundreds
of millions of units sold. A lot of work went into this
device to finally bring it to market and, you know,
I just wanna remind you that success has many fathers, right, it wasn’t just Steve
Jobs that made the iPad or Apple that made the iPad. There was a lot of people
involved with it inside and outside of Apple,
from inspiration to R&D and everything else in between. But it ended up shaping a
pretty fricking cool product that many people still use today. Heck, I still use one, I have all of my episode notes on here so when I’m talking with you guys I don’t sound like too
much of an idiot, right. So it helps me out everyday. Let me know about your
own iPad stories though, I wanna hear them because
I am a curious cat and if you have any other
ideas for future topics you wanna see on the show,
do let me know down below. I’m all ears. Thanks for sticking with me,
catch the crazy and pass it on. (funky upbeat tech music)

About the author


  1. This information was very interesting. I remember when I was 3 getting the original iPad. Great video, keep it up! 👍

  2. Shoot I just finished refurbishing an iPad Mini 4 I saved from the technology graveyard. It had a broken LCD with no damage to the casing or touch glass. Weird but ok. It works just fine mostly. Though it doesn’t seem to like iOS 13 very much being 4 years old.

  3. missed bit of the origin story: this prototype circa 2002

  4. Interestingly, Knowledge Navigator actually looks like the PCs coming out of CES this year, with the folding tablet displays.

  5. Great video Ken! I remember getting my first iPad right around launch day. I was prepared to buy the 16 GB version… but Best Buy was all sold out. I ended up purchasing the 32 GB version and I'm glad I did. Today it doesn't get much use, but actually that extra storage space comes in handy to play around with old apps, games, and multimedia files.

    I remember Microsoft (at least I think it was them) showing off a prototype of an add-on camera for the iPad… but I don't think it was ever released, as the iPad 2 included a built-in camera. Although I still would have loved an add-on camera for the original iPad.

    It's really interesting to watch the recent documentaries "General Magic" and "Love Notes to Newton" and see where the ideas from the iPad came from.

  6. Well no the iPad doesn’t sound like a tampon but the other thing women use, don’t ever confuse bad things will happen otherwise.

  7. My first iPad was iPad 2, which I got in 2011 at a discount while working at an Apple Reseller. It was great, I used it up until late 2018, when it was replaced with a 6th gen iPad.

  8. I love the way you present paper slides in this video.. the little sound effect and transition is really keeping my attention

  9. My story with iPad: My wife bought an iPad in the US and brought it back to where we live (Denmark). It was early 2010. She said: "Here U go honey. I can't see what you want to use it for. But I know you like tech, so here you are…". The iPad eventually grew on her, and after 2-3 months, she had the iPad in her hands for 3-4 hours daily. I almost couldn't get to spend some time with it on my own. Fast forward to today: We have had almost every version of the iPad since then and we love the product.

  10. I remember struggling to get used to the school iPad that I was given from 7th to 8th grade. The app store was locked down, so only a handful of approved apps that appeared in the Self Service app could be used. Really, I just wanted to get send it back. Why use one if I can't customize the software experience a little? That was about 3-4 years ago.

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