Can a device have a birthday?
Do computers have feelings?
If I put a cookie on a laptop's keyboard, then close the laptop, will the laptop eat the cookie?
Whoa, whoa, whoa! So many questions! So many weird questions...
Okay, we can't answer the last two, but the first one? Yes! Devices can have birthdays. In fact, we're celebrating one right now.
In touch with our world
On April 3, 2010, Apple introduced its tablet device, the iPad. Today, iPads—as well as other tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Microsoft Surface Go—are everywhere. Many people use them as their main computer, engaging in social media, emails, web browsers, web chat, photography, videos... you name it.
So it's easy to forget that back in 2010, the word tablet as a device meant something completely different...
Readers and music players
At the time, a tablet was mainly known as a 'reader'. Readers were devices like the Kobo Kindle that were designed specifically for reading digital copies of books. They had next-to-no other computing abilities or programs.
Meanwhile, Apple had four main types of products: desktop computers, laptop computers, iPhones (which were introduced in June 2007), and iPods. For years, the iPod MP3 music player had been a huge product for Apple. Though some phones played music, most people used an MP3 payer for their tunes.
Then in September 2007, Apple introduced the iPod Touch, which was like an iPhone without the phone part. People ate it up—music AND apps together? Wicked!
A jumbo iPod Touch? Who needs that?
This is what tech looked like when the iPad came along in 2010. At first, a lot of tech insiders were skeptical. Early reviews were not great. The iPad was just a jumbo iPod Touch, people complained. Who would want such a thing? There's no keyboard, so you can't do normal computer stuff very well. And it's so much bigger than a phone or iPod, it's too awkward to carry around.
But in the end, the iPad's popularity took off. In a month, they had sold one million of them. People loved the light, portable device that gave you the big screen viewing of a computer screen alongside the fun, touch screen simplicity of a smartphone. And on its larger screen, the keyboard wasn't nearly as difficult to use as on a phone.
Today, Apple has sold over 360 million iPads. Companies like Samsung, Microsoft, and Asus have sold many millions more of their tablets. These devices are a totally accepted as indispensable technology. Pretty amazing for a gadget that only nine years ago was predicted by many to be a big flop!