The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, apps and web content. Its size and weight fall between those of contemporary smartphones and laptop computers. The iPad runs on iOS, the same operating system used on Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone, and can run its own applications as well as iPhone applications. Without modification, the iPad will only run programs approved by Apple and distributed via the Apple App Store (with the exception of programs that run inside the iPad's web browser). Like iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad is controlled by a multitouch display—a departure from most previous tablet computers, which used a pressure-triggered stylus—as well as a virtual onscreen keyboard in lieu of a physical keyboard. History: Apple released the first iPad in April 2010, selling 300,000 units on the first day and selling 3 million in 80 days. During 2010, Apple sold 14.8 million iPads worldwide, representing 75% of tablet PC sales at the end of 2010. By the release of the iPad 2 in March 2011, more than 15 million iPads had been sold—selling more than all other tablet PCs combined since the iPad's release. In 2011, it took approximately 73% of the tablet computing market share in the United States. During the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads. Before launch
Apple's first tablet computer was the Newton MessagePad 100, introduced in 1993, which led to the creation of the ARM6 processor core with Acorn Computers. Apple also developed a prototype PowerBook Duo-based tablet, the PenLite, but decided not to sell it in order to avoid hurting MessagePad sales. Apple released several more Newton-based PDAs; the final one, the MessagePad 2100, was discontinued in 1998. Apple re-entered the mobile-computing markets in 2007 with the iPhone. Smaller than the iPad but featuring a camera and mobile phone, it pioneered the multitouch finger-sensitive touchscreen interface of Apple's iOS mobile operating system. By late 2009, the iPad's release had been rumored for several years. Such speculation mostly talked about "Apple's tablet"; specific names included iTablet and iSlate. The actual name is reportedly a homage to the Star Trek PADD, a fictional device very similar in appearance to the iPad. The iPad was announced on January 27, 2010, by Steve Jobs at an Apple press conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Jobs later said that Apple began developing the iPad before the iPhone, but temporarily shelved the effort upon realizing that its ideas would work just as well in a mobile phone. The iPad's internal codename was K48, which was revealed in the court case surrounding leaking of iPad information before launch.
Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPad from U.S. customers on March 12, 2010. The only major change to the device between its announcement and being available to pre-order was the change of the behavior of the side switch from sound muting to that of a screen rotation lock. The Wi-Fi version of the iPad went on sale in the United States on April 3, 2010. The Wi-Fi + 3G version was released on April 30. 3G service in the United States is provided by AT&T and was initially sold with two prepaid contract-free data plan options: one for unlimited data and the other for 250 MB per month at half the price. On June 2, 2010, AT&T announced that effective June 7 the unlimited plan would be replaced for new customers with a 2 GB plan at slightly lower cost; existing customers would have the option to keep the unlimited plan. The plans are activated on the iPad itself and can be canceled at any time. The iPad was initially only available online at The Apple Store as well as the...