Timeline: iPad joins list of Apple product milestones

apple two steves aThe iPad is just the latest in decades of big milestones and product introductions for Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs.

Here’s a quick list:

Apple LisaHigh school buddies, and dropouts, Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs found Apple Computer. Their first product, Apple I, built in circuit board form, debuts at “the Homebrew Computer Club” in Palo Alto, California, to little fanfare.

The company unveils the Apple II, perhaps the first personal computer in a plastic case with color graphics. It is a big hit.

Apple starts selling the “Lisa,” a desktop computer for businesses with a graphical user interface, the computer system most users are familiar with today. A year earlier, Jobs was booted from the Lisa project — so he started working on the Macintosh.

1984 – Apple debuts the Macintosh personal computer. It is hyped with a dark, stylized commercial in which a lone “heroine” takes on “Big Brother” characters that are reminiscent of those in George Orwell’s novel “1984″ — a metaphor for IBM. Directed by “Alien” and “Blade Runner” filmmaker Ridley Scott, the ad airs just once nationally, during the Super Bowl.

No-nonsense, and no names, at Apple iPad event

Apple has a reputation for developing hit products.

But the company also has a rep for maintaining an iron grip on its image and its message. Wednesday’s launch of the iPad, a product whose details have been closely guarded by Apple for months ahead of the launch, showed Apple’s operation at its best.

To the surprise of many, Apple CEO Steve Jobs turned up at the demo room after the main event and appeared to be casually hobnobbing with Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg.

IPADEVENT1But the scene was hardly the impromptu, open conversation it appeared.

Most of the people gathered around Jobs and Mossberg were not fellow reporters hunting for a quote, but a squad of no-nonsense, plain-clothed Apple staffers who had formed a human cordon around their leader. The only other person allowed within the safe zone was Mossberg, and any reporters who attempted to get near were physically blocked and pushed back.

Leftover Apple…

photoThere were plenty of interesting little nuggets sprinkled throughout Apple’s iPad extravaganza Wednesday, some of which may have gotten lost in the headlines:

    The iPad is an impressive device to handle. It’s light and fast, with a bright screen and easy functionality. Movies appeared without a stutter and the gaming experience was an obvious asset.  The iBook e-reader application had a nice look, but it doesn’t mimic old-fashioned print in the same way that Amazon’s Kindle does. Steve Jobs pointed out that since the iPad runs on a version of the same software that powers the iPhone and iPod touch, many people will be quite comfortable using the new tablet: “Because we shipped over 75 million iPhones and iPod touches, there’s over 75 million people that already know how to use the iPad.” Jobs also noted that between the iTunes Store and the App Store — and the forthcoming iBook store — “we have over 125 million accounts with credit cards all enabled for one-click shopping on all these stores.”


    No details on what books will cost on the iBook store. Also nothing on a potential TV subscription service, as had been rumored. The iPad has no camera, as many had speculated it might, and doesn’t support Flash. Not exactly news, but Jobs is still no fan of netbooks:  ”The problem is netbooks aren’t better at anything. They’re slow, they have low quality displays and they run clunky old PC software. So they’re not better than a laptop at anything. They’re just cheaper. They’re just cheap laptops.” As many had predicted, the iPad features Apple’s own silicon, the A4 chip. Apple acquired a semiconductor company, PA Semi, in 2008. Apple just sold its 250 millionth iPod. Safe to say it would be thrilled to see that performance from the iPad.

Apple’s iPad in Jobs’ words

In case you weren’t among the members of the fourth-estate lucky enough to get an invitation to Apple’s highly-anticipated unveiling of the iPad on Wednesday, here are some of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ key comments about the new device and its importance to the company:

“Apple is a mobile devices company. That’s what we do.”

“When you feel all this power, and this much fun, and the internet in your hands, you’ll never want to go back.” Reuters


“When we set out to develop the iPad, we not only had very ambitious technical goals, and user interface goals, but we had a very aggressive price goal. Because we want to put this in the hands of lots of people.”

Apple’s tablet: No time for a flop

With Wednesday’s expected unveiling of the Apple tablet, the tech world is bracing for a device that could revolutionize everything from mobile computing to the newspaper industry. But what if the tablet doesn’t live up to expectations?

While Apple is known for its golden touch, the company has had its share of flops. The five products below represent some of Apple’s biggest disappointments; but theyNewton also provide important lessons that can be found in its smash hits.

Newton: First released in 1993, the Newton represented one of the first attempts at a mass-market, touchscreen-based handheld computer. But the brick-sized Message Pad family of devices that ran the Newton operating system were too big and, at $700-plus, too pricey. And the mixed results of the initial version of the handwriting recognition made Newtons an easy target for criticism.

Verizon grows prepaid but sticking to “bread and butter”

verizonwirelesslogoVerizon Wireless brought in almost half of its customers from its wholesale prepaid business in the fourth quarter, seemingly confirming analyst predictions that this market segment is becoming the biggest driver of mobile.

But Verizon is careful to downplay the importance of any services other than its lucrative postpaid services for high-value monthly bill paying customers.

“That’s our bread and butter. Our real focus is the retail postpaid base,” Chief Financial Officer John Killian told Reuters.

Technology Earnings

What Apple’s “iTablet” could mean for Asia

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs walks through the crowd after a special event in San Francisco September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

global_post_logoJonathan Adams serves as a GlobalPost correspondent, where this article first appeared.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Here comes, maybe, Apple’s “iTablet.” Or “iSlate.” Or “iWhatever.”

Apple’s so-called “Jesus Tablet” has been described as the ultimate gadget: A netbook, e-book reader, movie player and games platform all in one. It’s going to revolutionize publishing, and education. No mention yet on solving Middle East peace, but surely it’s only a matter of time.

VOTE: Will you buy the Apple tablet?

apple tablet pic Is Apple’s much-talked about tablet destined to be a hit, or is it a product in search of a market? Apple has said nothing about the device expected to be unveiled by CEO Steve Jobs on Jan. 27 but mockups are everywhere. How much are you willing to pay for Apple’s tablet?

    Not interested $500-$699 $700-$899 $900-$1,000 More than $1,000
Created on Jan 21, 2010

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CES: Plastic Logic’s CEO shows off Que proReader (video)

Here’s Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta discussing the pricing of the Que proReader, which was introduced today at CES. The device is targeted at business users, but it is already being considered a rival to Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s as-yet-unannounced-yet-widely speculated tablet computer.