The first-generation iPad was unveiled by the then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Jan. 27, 2010, with the Wi-Fi variant released in the US on April 3, followed up by the Wi-Fi and cellular variant April 30 (the iPad was subsequently released in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on May 28).
During its unveiling, it’s fair to say that the media and consumer reaction to the iPad was mixed. Some became overly focused on the hilarity of the name (names such as iSlate or iTablet had been swirling around the rumor mill ahead of the unveiling), the lack of a software ecosystem, and the lack of features such as printing file-sharing, while others saw it as a logical follow-on to the iPhone and giving Apple an advantage over the Android platform (the first Android tablet — the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 — was introduced on Sept. 2, 2010 and released a month later).
The first iPad featured a 9.7-inch 1024 × 768-pixel (132 pixel-per-inch) IPS LCD touchscreen display. This display was powered by Apple’s A4 System-on-a-Chip (SoC), which consisted of a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and a PowerVR SGX535 GPU, and this was backed up by 256MB of DDR RAM. Storage options ranged from 16GB to 64GB, and prices starting at $499.
Fueling this hardware was a 6,613mAh lithium-polymer battery that offered 10 hours of battery life, setting a standard that continues to this day.
Apple sold 300,000 iPads on day one, and in a month, this had increased to a million, hitting this milestone in half the time it took the iPhone to do it.
The first iPad initially ran iOS 3.2, and was upgraded several times over its life, culminating with iOS 5.1.1 — following its discontinuation on March 2 2011 and support ending on Sept. 18, 2012.