iPad at 10: Many couldn’t imagine life without it, says tech expert
27 January 2020, 19:54
As the iPad marks the tenth anniversary of its unveiling, industry experts examine how the tablet has changed the technology industry.
The iPad is a gadget success because many people could not imagine a world without it, industry experts have said as the device marks its tenth anniversary.
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the tablet for the first time on January 27 2010, before it first went on sale in April of that year.
Since then Apple has sold more than 360 million units of the iPad, which has expanded into the iPad mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro ranges.
Although sales of tablets have slowed in recent years, industry expert and founder of technology news website Pocket-lint, Stuart Miles, argued the impact of Apple’s tablet could be seen in how ubiquitous the device now was in homes around the world.
“In 2010 many questioned why we would need the iPad as both experts and consumers struggled, at the time, to understand what we would use if for. But once it was in our hands, that all changed,” he said.
“Now 10 years later, most households own a tablet, be it an iPad or something else, and most couldn’t imagine a world where they didn’t exist.”
Mr Miles pointed to the millions of tablet owners who now use the device as a second screen to watch video as a sign of how central to daily life the device has become for many.
The rise of streaming services can also be linked to the increased consumption of video on the go, sparked in part by the introduction of tablets such as the iPad.
Smartphone screens have also increased in size over the last decade, as manufacturers tried to get the smaller devices closer to the screen experience of a tablet.
Now, foldable smartphones – where phone-sized devices with flexible screens can be opened up to reveal a larger screen, are also on the rise.
At the time of the iPad’s announcement, Mr Jobs argued that there was a gap between the smartphone and the laptop that could be filled by a new device.
“iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before,” he said on stage in San Francisco at the device’s unveiling.
The launch of Apple’s device also saw a number of other companies introduce their own tablet.
Apple continues to update the iPad today, with new versions of the flagship iPad Pro range due during the year, according to reports.