Who Invented The Ipad (Was It The First?)

who invented the ipad

Since its introduction in 2010, the iPad has introduced a middle ground between smartphones and laptops. It created a new market for consumer electronics as well. Most of us know Apple is the company behind the iPad, but who invented the iPad?

Generally, people credit Steve Jobs as the person who invented the iPad. However, the creation of the iPad was teamwork, involving other Apple executives such as Johnny Ive, Dan Riccio, and Scott Forstall. They oversaw most of the iPad’s design and engineering work, while Steve Jobs functioned primarily as a visionary.


This article explores the iPad, why it was invented, and who invented the iPad. The article also explores if there were attempts to develop a tablet computer before the iPad came out.

What Is The iPad?

iPad is a line of tablet computers from Apple inc. It is essentially an iPhone, with a smaller laptop’s extended screen side and touchscreen controls. The iPad is the first successfully mass-marketed tablet computer that opens up a new market between a smartphone and a laptop computer.

iPad is a tablet computer that blends the features of a smartphone and a laptop together. Instead of a physical keyboard and mouse, the iPad features a touchscreen that allows users to interact with it by touch motions. These motions include tap, drag, pinch of rotate.

On the prompt of the application, a keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen. This allows users to input texts into the interface. Further models of iPad also come with a stylus called the Apple Pencil, which allows users to write on the device as if it is a piece of paper.

The screen size is also expanded to be in between the iPhone and a laptop. The first generation iPad was released with a 9.7 inch (24.6 CM) screen, with further models such as iPad Pro having screen sizes as big as 12.9 inches (32.8 CM approx.)

The first iPad was unveiled to the public in January 2010 at an Apple press event. The device was offered for sale on April 30th, 2010, to a huge crowd demand. Newer versions of the iPad were released almost every year, with some new sub-lines of iPads created, such as iPad Mini or iPad Pro.

iPad is the first successfully released example of a tablet computer for personal computing. In fact, it spearheaded the creation of a new market for consumer electronics as the middle ground between a smartphone and a laptop.

Why Was The iPad Invented?

According to Apple founder Steve Jobs, the iPad was invented as a way to bridge between the size and convenience of a smartphone and the power and familiarity of many with laptops. The iPad was also designed to be better at internet browsing, email, video, photos, music, ebooks, and games than smartphones and laptops.

The late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc. and the visionary behind the iPad, mentioned that iPad was created for several reasons.

Firstly, to create a middle ground between smartphones and laptops. Consumers appreciate the small sizes and ease of use of a smartphone but also appreciate the familiarity and power of a laptop.

iPad is designed to combine both devices to assist users in being more productive and intuitive with their devices. As a result, you can see the iPad combining the touch screen capability of iPhones, and the ease of use of iOS, yet having the screen size of a small laptop.

Secondly, the iPad was created to support a better experience in consuming content. Steve Jobs again mentioned that the iPad is designed to be better at consuming content and more basic productivity tasks. These activities include web browsing, email, videos, photos, music, ebooks, and games.

This makes sense, as consuming content on a smartphone is not ideal since the screen size is too small. On top of that, consuming tense content on a laptop seems too much overkill. The laptops may be much better at creating content instead.

Who Invented The iPad?

Despite people crediting Steve Jobs as the inventor of the iPad, however, the invention is likely a team effort. Many executives have contributed to the birth of the device, managing the engineering, design, and software work.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was the founder of Apple Inc and was the CEO of Apple at the time of the iPad’siPad’s creation. Steve Jobs was the main visionary of the project, doing the major thinking work and coming out with the idea of having a decision between the smartphone and the laptop.

Steve Jobs also decided that the iPad may be the best way for Apple to counter Google’s Android everywhere strategy. Steve Jobs may also be seen as the biggest salesperson for the iPad, driving demand and excitement for the device, leading to exploding sales on launch day.

Johnny I’ve

Johnny Ive was Apple’s Chief Design Officer (CDO) during the time of iPad’siPad’s creation. He joined Apple in 1992, and Steve Jobs later appreciated his designs well enough. He was made the main designer at Apple.

Johnny Ive largely oversaw the iPad’s design work, such as making the device more “”friendly” and inviting for people to scoop up and play with. During the design, he also worked hard with Steve Jobs to incorporate his design ideas from him.

Dan Riccio

Dan Riccio joined Apple in 1998, soon after Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. He helped with product engineering. During the iPad’siPad’s creation, he was the vice president of iPad Hardware engineering.

This means Dan Riccio largely oversaw the engineering work behind the iPad. He made many engineering decisions about the iPad. He worked with Johnny Ive and Steve Jobs to turn their design ideas into reality.

Scott Forstall

Scott Forstall originally joined Steve Jobs’Jobs’ previous company, NeXT, before joining Apple in 1997 when both companies merged. Scott Forstall worked on the software side and was instrumental in the development of the iOS operating system during the creation of the iPhone.

He was then tasked with software designing for the iPad, originally using the same iOS. He later oversaw the development of iPadOS, which is a variation of iOS, but with features suitable for tablets.

Was the iPad The First Tablet Computer Invented?

The iPad is not the first tablet computer created, with many other previous prototypes and models created. The earlier models of tablets are such as Linus Write-Top (1987), Palm GridPad (1989), Apple MessagePad (1993), Palm Pilot (1997), and Motion Computing LS800 (2005).

Many models of tablet computers were designed and created before the iPad. However, these older devices were either too advanced for their time, not practical enough, or maybe using technology that was not mature enough yet.

Male hand pen design computer desk graphic plan

Linus Write-Top

Debuted in 1987, the Linus Write-Top is the world’s first writable tablet. It has a green screen, and you can write on it using the stylus. It recognizes up to 75 symbols, including lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols. It did not do well since it cost $2,795, which was a lot of money at the time.

Palm GridPad

The Palm GridPad debuted in 1989 and basically can be seen as a more sturdy, improved version of the Linus Write-Top. It works similarly, comes with memory card slots, and boots up in a few seconds. Because they are expensive, only about 10,000 units were sold between $2,370 to $3,750.

Apple MessagePad

Apple MessagePad was a tablet developed from the Apple Newton technology, which debuted in 1993. It features a writable screen with a stylus, and the device can recognize handwriting. It was much more successful than the Write-Top and the GridPad, with over 50,000 units sold. It sold between $900 to $1,569.

Palm Pilot

Palm Pilot debuted in 1997 and is a smaller, faster, and better version of the GridPad. It can be held in one hand, with the other handwriting on it using a stylus. It was probably the first successful personal digital assistant (PDA), selling over 1 million units.

Motion Computing LS800

Motion Computing debuted in 2005 and became popular due to its larger size, making it more suitable for productivity work than Palm devices. It also comes with a stylus and an external keyboard to make inputting content easier.