“Is there room for a third category of device in the world, something that’s between a laptop and a smartphone?” Steve Jobs asked before he introduced the world to the iPad early in 2010. With a wait time of two to three weeks for even those who were among the first to order the new iPad, it would seem the obvious answer is “yes.” But just two years ago, it wasn’t so.
At the time, Dan Lyons, writing for Newsweek, said “[F]or some of us who sat in the audience watching Steve Jobs introduce the device, the whole thing felt like a letdown.” It got criticized for its lack of camera, multitasking, and Flash. Even its name and its looks were fair game.
“It’s a nice reader,” Bill Gates said.
To be fair, the critics were no more harsh than Steve Jobs once was. Even while the iPad was being developed at Apple, Jobs was not only denying its existence, he was denouncing its purpose. “We have no plans to make a tablet,” he said to Walt Mossberg at 2003′s D: All Things Digital Conference. “It turns out people want keyboards. Tablets appeal to rich guys with plenty of other PCs and devices already.”