The 10 years of the iPad, the tablet that did not bury the PC

Ten years ago, Apple launched its first touch tablet, and today the iPad accounts for nearly 40% of the market. Over the years, the tablet has been refined, the screen has expanded, a keyboard and a stylus have arrived. However, this type of device still fails to replace a laptop.

January 27, 2010. The late Steve Jobs creates the event during his usual keynote with the arrival of the iPad, the first Apple tablet. But at that time, a tablet looked like? First, it should be remembered that Apple is more or less a precursor. There had already been timid attempts, but no manufacturer had managed to impose this type of digital slate that went beyond the simple frame of the electronic reader.

When it arrives, the iPad impresses with its size and weight. It's still 700 grams with a screen of nearly 10 inches. It is not a device that you put in your pocket. For example, it's a far cry from Amazon's Kindle, but for Jobs, a tablet must have a large screen, in color and touch obviously, usable without a stylus.

The first model did not have a photo-video sensor

Some, at the time, even announced that it would bury the classic computer. In 2010, three years after the release of the iPhone, mobility is improving. Wireless connections are faster, apps become easy to use and you can surf the Internet on your tablet, send emails or write text or fill in an Excel file. You can also play, and it's a significant asset on such a large screen. On the other hand, there is no front or rear camera, and that is what it has in common with a computer.

However, Jobs does not want it to be likened to a computer. He warns sellers: "Don't let buyers think it's a computer." You can't plug in a printer or a mouse. It's more of an XXL smartphone, and besides, when it is released, the iPad is also available in a WiFi / 3G version. Not necessarily to call but to enjoy another type of wireless connection.

Competing with ever-larger smartphones

Ten years later, the iPad is still there and it has finally changed little. At the last count, it accounted for between 35 and 40% of tablets sold worldwide. It almost became a brand because Android never managed to offer an equivalent product. Above all, over the course of the versions, the iPad has moved closer to the computer. There was the Bluetooth keyboard, the stylus called Apple Pencil; there were larger models with outright 13-inch screens (12.9 exactly), and then there were the terms "Mini," "Air" and "Pro" added over subsequent generations. Terms that were already known in the range of Mac computers. the iPad has also lost weight and thickness; it has gained power with a memory and processor that have nothing to envy to some laptops.

Also on the software side, iOS approached MacOS with the arrival of multitasking and even an OS dedicated to iPads. Why such a development? For two reasons. Firstly, because the line between a high-end smartphone and an iPad is more finite since there are now "phablets" whose screens are almost as big as those of a tablet. Then, because Microsoft has shoved Apple with its Surface, light and thin. Finally, because the future may be foldable screens and the iPad could bring the two worlds together with a dual-screen model and a virtual keyboard. Microsoft announced its own with the Surface Duo, Lenovo also with its ThinkPad X1. We'll know very quickly if Apple chooses the same path, and it would be in the boxes.

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