Happy 5th Birthday! The Evolution of the iPad

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On January 27, 2010, Steve Jobs took the stage at the Apple Keynote and unveiled a game-changing product. That product would become available in April later that year, and would revolutionize technology as we know it. Today – April 3, 2015 – marks the fifth anniversary of the iPad.

In celebration of its anniversary, we thought it would be fun to see just how much the iPad has evolved since that exciting day five years ago:


iPad – April 3, 2010

Thickness/Weight: 13.4mm/730g

Display: 9.7-inch LED-backlit with IPS technology/1024×768 resolution @132 ppi

Original OS: iPhone OS 3.2

The original, first-generation iPad. Everyone had a smartphone and a laptop already, was there room for something in the middle? There most certainly was. The iPad was easy to use and portable, weighing 1.5 pounds. It revolutionized the tablet market amid skepticism (it’s just a big iPhone!) and sold a whopping 300,000 units on its first day of availability. Before the next generation came along, 15 million of these puppies were sold worldwide. Pretty. Darn. Impressive.


iPad 2 – March 11, 2011

Thickness/Weight: 8.8 mm and 601g

Display: 9.7-inch LED-backlit with IPS technology/ 1024×768 resolution @132 ppi Original OS: iOS 4.2.1

One year later. Enter iPad 2. It was 33% thinner and 15% lighter than the first generation, with a faster processor and improved graphics. Everything people loved about the original iPad was improved for the sequel. The iPad 2 included two cameras (not found on the original) and boasted a longer battery life.



iPad 3 – March 16, 2012

Thickness/Weight: 9.4 mm and 652g

Display: 9.7-inch Retina display with IPS technology/ 2048×1536 resolution @264 ppi

OS: iOS 5.1

The third generation iPad was another impressive leap forward in Apple’s tablet lineage. It included a dazzling, new Retina display with an increased resolution of 2,048 x 1,536—matched by a quad-core graphic processor. It also featured the world’s largest app and media store, so you were never at a loss for content. Essential improvements were also made on the device’s camera; fitted with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p recording quality. This wasn’t your grandfather’s iPad! Actually, maybe it was…


iPad 4 – November 2, 2012

Thickness/Weight: 9.4 mm/652g

Display: 9.7-inch Retina display with IPS technology/ 2048×1536 resolution @264 ppi

OS: iOS 6.0

Available only 8 months after the launch of the iPad 3, the fourth generation iPad came along. The iPad 4 possessed twice the processing power of its predecessor, and added a 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD camera in the front and even longer battery life. And, it was offered at the same cost as the earlier 2012 model. Apple hit it out of the park—again.


iPad mini – November 2, 2012

Thickness/Weight: 7.2 mm and 308g

Display: 7.9-inch LED-backlit with IPS technology/ 1024×768 resolution @163ppi

OS: iOS 6.0

The iPad 4 wasn’t the only tablet Apple announced in late 2012. The iPad mini, Apple’s first 7.9-inch tablet, accompanied the iPad 4. This little guy was an immediate success. It’s gorgeous design and smaller body were a welcome companion to the bigger iPads. While the mini had a lower resolution that the iPad 3 and 4, its long battery life, more manageable size and price, made this a device worth having.



iPad Air – November 1, 2013

Thickness/Weight: 7.5mm/469g

Display: 9.7-inch Retina display with IPS technology/ 2048×1536 resolution @264 ppi

Original OS: iOS 7.0.3

The iPad Air revamped the iPad design, shedding almost half a pound of weight along with a few millimeters of thickness. It was lighter, thinner, faster and more powerful than any other iPad that preceded it. Even with the trim down, the iPad Air maintained the 9.7-inch Retina display and added a 64-bit A7 chip for some extra uumph.



iPad mini 2 – November 12, 2013

Thickness/Weight: 7.5mm/331g

Display: 7.9-inch Retina display with IPS technology/ 2048×1536 resolutions @326 ppi

Original OS: iOS 7

Released around the same time as the iPad Air, the iPad mini 2 raised the bar for Apple’s small tablet line. This model added Retina display and the lightning-fast A7 processor chip. It shrunk down the power of the iPad Air into a more compact package while sacrificing virtually nothing. It was a little pricier than previous models, but the stunning display, improved Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity and long battery life, it was well worth it.


iPad Air 2 – October 22, 2014

Thickness/Weight: 6.1mm/437g

Display: 9.7-inch Retina display with IPS technology/ 2048×1536 resolution @264 ppi

OS: iOS 8.1

Apple’s latest iteration of its iPad is the gold standard for tablets. The iPad Air 2 features an A8X processor with 64-bit architecture and M8 motion co-processor, making it the fastest iPad yet. The Air 2 boasts and even thinner and lighter design and better rear and front-facing cameras than its iPad ancestors. It’s also the first iPad to incorporate Touch ID and Apple Pay. Count me in!


iPad mini 3 – October 24, 2014

Thickness/Weight: 7mm and 331g

Display: 7.9-inch Retina display with IPS technology/ 2048×1536 resolutions @326 ppi

OS: iOS 8.1

The lastest small tablet released by Apple features an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion co-processor and a gorgeous display. It’s the first mini model to feature Apple’s Touch ID, and it is widely considered the best small tablet on the market today.




As we await the next incarnation of the beloved iPad, we are excited to see where Apple takes us next! Be sure to keep your iPad safe by protecting it with a case from OtterBox.com!








About the author

Mitch Wills

Mitch Wills

I'm a film buff and an adamant beer enthusiast - and I'm probably too obsessed with Broadway musicals. I'm always up for going on new adventures and doing unusual things with incredible people. Keep it weird, folks!

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