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The iPad is a brand of iOS and iPadOS-based tablet computers that are developed by Apple Inc. The iPad was conceived before the related iPhone but the iPhone was developed and released first. Speculation about the development, operating system, and release of the original iPad began in 2002 prior to its introduction on January 27, 2010. The iPad range consists of the original iPad lineup and the flagship products iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.
The iPhone’s iOS operating system (OS) was initially used for the iPad but in September 2019, its OS was switched to a fork of iOS called iPadOS that has better support for the device’s hardware and its user interface is customized for the tablets’ larger screens. The iPad’s App Store is subject to application and content approval. Many older devices are susceptible to jailbreaking, which circumvents these restrictions. The original iPad was well-received for its software and was recognized as one of the most-influential inventions of 2010. As of the third quarter of 2021, iPad had a market share of 34.6%; beside personal use, the iPad is used in the business, education, healthcare, and technology sectors. There are two variants of iPad; one has only Wi-Fi and one has support for cellular networks. Accessories include the Apple Pencil, Smart Case, Smart Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, Magic Keyboard, and several adapters.
Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs said in a 1983 speech: “What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes … and we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers”.
In 1993, Apple worked on the Newton MessagePad, a tablet-like personal digital assistant (PDA). John Sculley, Apple’s chief executive officer, led the development. The MessagePad was poorly received for its indecipherable handwriting recognition feature and was discontinued at the direction of Jobs, who returned to Apple in 1998 after an internal power struggle. Apple also prototyped a PowerBook Duo–based tablet computer but decided not to release it to avoid hurting MessagePad sales.
In May 2004, Apple filed a design trademark patent in Europe for a handheld computer, hypothetically referencing the iPad, beginning a new round of speculation that led to a 2003 report of Apple-affiliated manufacturer Quanta leaking Apple’s orders for wireless displays. In May 2005, Apple filed US Design Patent No. D504,889 that included an illustration depicting a man touching and using a tablet device. In August 2008, Apple filed a 50-page patent application that includes an illustration of hands touching and gesturing on a tablet computer. In September 2009, Taiwan Economic News, citing “industry sources”, reported the tablet computer Apple was working on would be announced in February 2010, although the announcement was made in that year’s January.
The iPad’s concept predates that of the iPhone, although the iPhone was developed and released before the iPad. In 1991, Apple’s chief design officer Jonathan Ive devised an industrial design of a stylus-based tablet, the Macintosh Folio, which led to the development of a larger tablet prototype project codenamed K48 that Apple began in 2004. Ive sought to develop the tablet first but came to an agreement with Jobs the iPhone was more important and should be prioritized.