Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing

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iPad Pro 2
According to the rumor, Apple was launching a 15-inch tablet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 13: Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing April 13, 2005: The tech world gets excited when a sketchy rumor suggests Apple is building a tablet computer.

The Chinese-language report claims Quanta will build a 15-inch touchscreen tablet PC with detachable keyboard. Apple will supposedly ship the device in the first quarter of 2006. Things don’t turn out quite like that, but the rumor offers the first hint about Apple’s secret iPad project.

Today in Apple history: iPad gets an eye-dazzling Retina display

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The iPad 3 Retina display was one gorgeous screen.
The iPad 3's Retina display was one gorgeous screen.
Photo: Apple

March 16: Today in Apple history: iPad gets an eye-dazzling Retina display March 16, 2012: Apple introduces the third-generation iPad, its first tablet to come with a Retina display. Marketed as simply “The new iPad,” it’s widely known as the “iPad 3.”

Boasting that beautiful screen and Apple’s then-swanky A5X chip with a quad-core graphics processor, the third-gen iPad quickly becomes a big success. Disappointingly for customers, it will only hang around until October 2012. That’s the shortest lifespan of any iOS product in history, at just seven months.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs flips out over iPad tweet

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The first-gen iPad in all its glory.
Steve Jobs did not like losing control of the iPad narrative.
Photo: Apple

February 8: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs flips out over iPad tweet February 8, 2010: Steve Jobs reportedly flips out over a tweet sent from an iPad by a Wall Street Journal editor.

The reason? Apple showed the iPad to top staffers at the news outlet months ahead of its official release. While Jobs already had unveiled the device to the public, the suggestion that people outside Apple gained early access to the tablet was apparently enough to upset the CEO.

The tweet quickly disappeared.

Today in Apple history: Stephen Colbert shows off iPad early at Grammys

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Stephen Colbert shows off a prerelease iPad during the Grammy Awards show.
Jay-Z didn't get one of these in his gift bag.
Photo: Grammys

February 1: Today in Apple history: Stephen Colbert shows off iPad early at the Grammys February 1, 2010: The tech-loving world goes into meltdown at the sight of Stephen Colbert using a prerelease iPad to read nominations during the Grammy Awards show.

“Jay-Z, did you not get one of these in your gift bag?” Colbert quips from the stage. “Am I cooler than you?”

The celebrity sneak peek is all part of Apple’s big (and wildly successful) plan to hype its upcoming tablet computer.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad

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The iPad launch shook up the tech world, with the tablet computer becoming Apple's fastest-selling device.
Did you own an original iPad?
Photo: Apple

January 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad January 27, 2010: Steve Jobs publicly shows off the iPad for the first time.

Aside from the name, which some people joke sounds like a female sanitary product, the iPad immediately earns critical acclaim. “The last time there was this much excitement over a tablet, it had some commandments written on it,” The Wall Street Journal quips.

When it goes on sale, the iPad quickly becomes Apple’s fastest-selling new product ever.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s new tablet is called … iSlate?

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iSlate1
Would you have preferred the name iSlate?
Image illustration: Apple/Cult of Mac

December 24: Today in Apple history: Apple's new tablet is called ... iSlate? December 24, 2009: As rumors of a possible Apple tablet reach boiling point, a rumor spreads online that the new device will be called the iSlate.

The news is based on the fact that Apple quietly acquired the domain name iSlate.com a few years earlier. Since Apple did the same thing for the iPhone back in the late 1990s, years before the iPhone actually debuted, it makes total sense that the company would follow suit with the naming of its tablet.

Of course, that didn’t exactly end up happening.

Today in Apple history: iPad mini arrives

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The iPad mini made a big splash for such a tiny device.
The iPad mini made a big splash for such a tiny device.
Photo: Apple

November 2: Today in Apple history: iPad mini launch brings smaller size and price tag November 2, 2012: The first-generation iPad mini goes on sale, shrinking both the size and the price tag of Apple’s groundbreaking tablet computer.

With a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches — instead of the then-standard 9.7 inches — the iPad mini is the fifth iPad to be released by Apple. Critics hail Apple’s most affordable iPad ever, although some people complain about its lack of a Retina display.

Today in Apple history: iPad sales overtake Macs

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The iPad quickly became the world's fastest-selling device.
The iPad quickly became the world's fastest-selling device.
Photo: Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr CC

October 18: Today in Apple history October 18, 2010: Six months after the iPad debuts, Steve Jobs reveals that Apple’s tablet is already outselling Macs.

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Jobs says Apple sold 4.19 million iPads during the previous three months, compared with 3.89 million Macs.