Today in Apple history: iPad 2 is the svelte sequel fans hoped for


iPad 2
The iPad 2 took a leap forward in every way except pricing.
Photo: Apple

March 11: Today in Apple history: iPad 2 is the sequel fans hoped for March 11, 2011: How do you follow up your biggest debut of a new product? That’s the question Cupertino needs to answer as it releases the iPad 2.

Apple’s second-generation tablet boasts a faster dual-core A5 processor inside a lighter build. It’s also the first iPad to feature VGA front-facing and 720p rear-facing cameras.

Although today the iPad market has tailed off compared to the iPhone, the original iPad was one of Apple’s biggest successes. When introduced in January 2010, it immediately became the most exciting new gadget in the world. When the original iPad went on sale, it took less than a month to sell 1 million units — half the time it took Apple to sell that many iPhones at the time.

In its first year, Apple sold around 25 million iPads, making the tablet the most successful new product category launch in Cupertino history. After six months, it already outsold the Mac.

iPad 2 brings advances in form and function

The iPad 2 therefore had a lot to live up to. Did it succeed? In a word, “yes.”

It maintained the same display size, price and capacity as its predecessor, but packed more power into a one-third thinner body. Measuring just 0.34 of an inch, it even came in thinner than the then-current iPhone 4.

The iPad 2 lineup also added a new color, since it now came in both black and white options. The speaker grille also wrapped around the back of the device, providing users with better sound quality.

Apple’s new magnetic Smart Cover arrived at the same time as the iPad 2, instantly making the bulky, rubber third-party cases for the original iPad look terrible by comparison.

In the end, the iPad 2 hung around for an impressively long period. It outlasted both the iPad 3 and iPad 4. Apple sold the iPad 2 until 2014.

Sound off on iPad 2

Did you own an iPad 2? What was the first model of Apple’s tablet that you bought, and what were your initial impressions? Let us know in the comments below.