The iPad is one of Apple’s greatest inventions, but at launch, people couldn’t stop complaining. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Five years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad. A giant screen with one button, the iPad represented possibly the purest distillation of Jobs’ tech dreams. Yet at the time it was met with derision. “I got about 800 messages in the last 24 hours,” Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “Most of them are complaining…. It knocks you back a bit.”
Half a decade and multiple iterations on, the iPad is an established part of Apple’s ecosystem. While it’s had its ups and downs, nobody’s flooding Apple’s inbox with iPad-related hate mail anymore.
So what were people complaining about? We hopped in our time machine to take a look at the original criticisms — and what, if anything, Apple’s done about them in the years since.
Forget the Microsoft Surface, CNN is all about the iPads. Photo: Steven Johns/Twitter
A CNN political commentator has hit back at reports that he was using an iPad on air, instead of the Microsoft Surface he was supposed to be using.
The gaffe occurred during the coverage for the 2014 Mid-Term elections, when it was revealed that CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper and others were furiously, err, tapping away at iPads behind the sold wall of Surface Pro 3s that Microsoft had issued the network.
Tapper doesn’t deny that he was using an iPad, but argues that he was just using it for tweeting, while happily using his Microsoft tablet for everything else.
“I liked [the Surface] fine, I just wanted to keep the screen up with exit polls,” Tapper argued on Twitter, branding the online response “idiotic” and a “false meme.”
Looks like Microsoft is up to its old tricks again!
Not happy to simply put out the Surface (and, to be honest, who can blame them?) and then let the market decide if it’s interested, the good folks at Redmond have decided on a new ad campaign that skewers Apple and its “You’re more powerful than you think” strap line.
The Los Angeles Unified School District decided to blow its entire $1 billion tech budget on an iPad for every student last year, but after security hacks and supply issues got the program off to a rocky start, the district has decided to adjust course and let on a few challengers.
Officials at the U.S.’s second-largest school district have decided to allow a group of high schools to choose between six devices instead of the iPad, effectively putting distribution of Apple’s tablet on hold district-wide.
Apple’s possible plans for an iPad smart cover reminiscent of Microsoft’s Surface were revealed in a patent application published Thursday. The design differs from Microsoft’s iPad competitor in that Apple’s keyboard would double as a Multi-Touch gesture keyboard, eliminating the need for a touchpad.
Drawings filed with the patent show how it would be possible to use the iPad cover in various configurations. Several hinges allow the iPad smart cover to fold away with the tablet and keyboard, while the cover would feature magnets to lock its various components in place. In one embodiment of the patent, Apple suggests that electromagnets could be used.
There’s a lot of different metrics out there for gauging the success of personal electronics, some more suspect than others. Many companies, for example, favor units shipped to retailers, where as Apple favors the more realistic metric of units sold.
Perhaps the best metric of all, though, isn’t what is shipped or sold, but what people want Santa to bring them for Christmas. And by this metric, the iPad is king.
The man, the myth, the sweaty legend: Steve Ballmer
It’s no secret that Microsoft’s would-be iPad-killer has been a complete disappointment, but now Steve Ballmer, the company’s ever-optimistic CEO, is admitting to employees that the Surface is a flop.
Ballmer held a “rally the troops” event on the Microsoft campus yesterday to go over the company’s quarterly earnings and boost morale, but according to people at the event, Ballmer dove into how disappointing it has been trying to make Surface a success.
When Microsoft launched the Surface with Windows RT, it was supposed to be the answer to all of their iPad problems. It runs on cellphone chips, yet still looks like regular Windows 8. It’s supposed to be awesome. But sales of Windows RT tablets haven’t been strong, and now Samsung is saying that they’re second guessing the platform.
In a recent interview at CES, Make Abary, Samsung’s senior vice president who oversees the company’s tablet business, said that Samsung has decided they won’t launch their Windows RT tablet in the U.S. after discovering there’s not much demand for them.
The tablet wars in a nuthsell: of the tens of thousands of people who opened a tablet on Christmas morning, 7 times as many people got iPads than Kindles, 18 times as many people got iPads than a Google Nexus and 50 times as many people got an iPad as a Surface. Looks like Santa’s an Apple fan.
Mall of America happens to have both an Apple Store and a Microsoft Store under one roof. In fact, they’re right across the hall from each other, so it’s a great place to gauge how enthusiastic people are for both brands.
On Black Friday, Gene Munster and his team of analyst from Piper Jaffray spend eight hours counting heads at the Apple Store. They also spend two hours monitoring the Microsoft Store and found that Microsoft didn’t sell a single Microsoft Surface tablet.