To talk about the history of the iPad we need to go way back to 1993 when Apple launched the first PDA in the world, the Newton MessagePad 100, which later on led to the creation of the popular ARM6 processor. In addition, the company also developed a prototype PowerBook Duo-based tablet, dubbed PenLite, but they’ve decided not to sell it in order to avoid hurting the sales of their MessagePad. Until it was discontinued in 1998, Apple introduced several more Netwon-based PDAs, and the latest one was the MessagePad 2100.
The company started taking preorders for the original ipad trade in value iPad in the United States on March 12, 2010. On April 3rd, 2010, the Wi-Fi-enabled version of the iPad went on sale, while the Wi-Fi + 3G model was released at the end of that same month. At first, Apple commercialized the iPad only online at it’s the Apple Store, along with the company’s retail locations.
Later on things changed and the 1st generation of the iPad was available at many important retailers, like Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, AT&T and Verizon. On May 28th, 2010, it went on sale in several European countries, like UK, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, France, but also in Australia and Canada. As far as the Chinese market is concerned, it went on sale on July 23rd last year.
The second generation of the iPad was introduced on March 2nd, 2011 and has been available since March 11th at Apple’s retail stores in the U.S. On March 25th it was released internationally in 25 other countries.
Now, let’s talk about the main differences between these two generations.
Despite the fact that the overall footprint of the 2nd gen model is the same as the original one, the thickness has been reduced from 13.4mm to only 8.4mm. In addition, the weight has also been brought down: Wi-Fi model from 680g to 601g, while Wi-Fi + 3G from 730g to 613g.
The original model used a single-core A4 chip clocked at 1 Ghz, while the iPad 2 benefits from a dual-core A5 chip. While the first one had only 256 MB of RAM, the second iteration of the model sports 512 MB. Regarding storage, they’ve remained the same as customers can choose from one of the following: 16, 32 and 64 GB.
The new model now sports one front-facing VGA camera, along with a rear-facing 720P camera. Other new goodies include a gyroscope and an optional HDMI output dongle. As expected, Apple updated the iPad 2 to its latest version of the iOS (formerly known as Apple iOS). As most of you are probably used to by now, there are no differences as far as the price tag of both models, following the same recipe of the iPhone and the iPod.
Some say that this isn’t actually a second generation model, but more like a 1.5 version until an entirely new model arrives, we’ll let you be the judge of that. Customers are probably expecting Adobe Flash support and a USB port in the third generation of the model, along with a MicroSD memory slot and NFC (near-field communications) support. We’ll have to wait and see.