Phil Schiller and Walt Mossberg recall the birth of Apple’s revolutionary iPad

Steve Jobs introducing the iPad.
Steve Jobs unveiled the revolutionary iPad on January 27, 2010. (photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

The New York Times has published a look at the technology of the 2010s. One of the sections is about Apple’s revolutionary iPad.

The New York Times:

Steve Jobs unveils the iPad (JAN. 27, 2010)

Following the iPhone’s success, Steve Jobs introduces Apple’s next mobile computing device: a touch-screen tablet.

Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing: …The team started working on multitouch technology. During that process, a human interface designer, Bas Ording, showed us this demo where he pretended to scroll and the whole screen moved up and down with realistic physics. It was one of those “holy crap” moments.

In parallel to all this, iPod had taken off. We knew there was risk that one day a cellphone could play music, that you wouldn’t carry two devices, you’d carry one. We wanted to take care of that ourselves and solve that. So we decided we needed to do a phone, a phone that could also replace iPod.

Somewhere around the time that we were doing the second-generation iPhone is when we said, “O.K., now iPhone’s up and running.”

When we got back to iPad, it was really easy to imagine what to take from iPhone and what needed to be different to create the product it would be. It really helped.

Walt Mossberg, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal: It was just Steve and me in his living room… We were sitting on the couch, and on the coffee table there was something covered in black cloth.

At some point he pulls the cloth off, and it’s the iPad. He pulled it off the stand and he lovingly started to show it to me. And eventually I got to hold it and play with it.

I try never to be positive or negative until I have actually tested something. But I was impressed. I was impressed with the thinness of it. In particular, he was careful to show me how it wasn’t just a big iPhone.

Then what really impressed me was the price. He asked me to guess. I guessed $999.

He gave me this wicked smile, and he said, “You’re going to be really amazed if that’s what you think. It’s way lower than that.”

I said, “Well, how much?” He wouldn’t tell me.

It was $499. I’m sure that it was also stunning to the competitors.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, it’s known by now that the iPad was first, but shelved in favor of first releasing the iPhone (so that Apple could be the company to cannibalize the iPod). iPad spawned iPhone even though Apple’s revolutionary tablet was released three years later.

Here’s the video of Steve Jobs unveiling the revolutionary iPad on January 27, 2010:


  1. You mean “the big ol’ iPod” as what the critics called it. Another one of Apple’s products that was supposed to be a failure because it lacked the necessary ports and file management of a laptop or desktop. That’s right, it also didn’t support Adobe Flash and no product was useful without Flash support.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.