Hayley Tsukayama, THE WASHINGTON POST
(The Washington Post)—On this day in 2010, customers lined up around the block to get their hands on the iPad, Apple’s then-new and somewhat perplexing gadget. Some mocked it as a simply a big iPhone, or a solution looking for a problem. Others saw its potential but didn’t know quite what it all meant.
To date, the company has sold more than a quarter of a billion of them.
The iPad, of course, wasn’t the first tablet the world had ever seen, but it landed at a moment, and with a set of features, that sent the tablet market on a wild growth curve. Within just 60 days, Apple announced it had sold two million of the devices — and other companies tripped over themselves to get competitors to market within the year. The tablet met a need in the computing space that just wasn’t getting met by ultra-compact netbooks that had previously filled the space between a laptop and a desktop computer. On a conference call in April 2010, just after the iPad’s launch, Apple’s then-chief operating officer. Tim Cook. said, “To me, it’s a no-brainer… I can’t think of a single thing a netbook does well.”