Apple iPad makes Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2010

Girl using iPad

Apple's revolutionary iPad tablet has made Time Magazine's '50 Best Inventions of 2010' list. From TIME:

How does Apple keep out-inventing the rest of the tech industry? Often, it's by reinventing a product category that its competitors have given up on. In theory, the iPad is merely a follow-up to such resoundingly unpopular slate-style computers as Microsoft's Tablet PC. But Apple is the first company that designed finger-friendly hardware and software from scratch rather than stuffing a PC into a keyboardless case. When it calls the results "magical" and "revolutionary," it's distorting reality only slightly. One analyst says the iPad is the fastest-selling nonphone gizmo in consumer-electronics history.

Another interesting tidbit was that Flipboard, an iPad app with a magazine-style approach to Twitter and Facebook, was also featured on the list as a top invention of 2010.

The iPad has seen amazing success since its debut, even surprising us in some cases. With the holiday season upon us, it will be interesting to see the sales numbers Apple has to announce on their next earnings call.

Are you surprised at the iPad being featured on TIME's list? Were you expecting it? Let us know in the comments below!


Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 15 comments. Add yours.

Ramo says:

No surprises there - interesting to see Flipboard made it on the list, granted it's a unique app. Its innvovation essentially centres on the presentation (and I guess by extension experience) of the feeds it supports, wouldn't have earmarked it for a feature

Webvex says:

I'm not surprised it made the list, but I was surprised when I bought one. It's definitely a better device than one imagines just reading about it, or even after trying one out in the store. You have to own it for awhile before you really appreciate it's usefulness.

steffenjobbs says:

Apple shareholders are going to be very disappointed when Wall Street chops down Apple's share price because of the iPad falling short of selling 13 million units for 2010. Analyst's projections were pulled out of a hat and are probably unrealistic. For a product that was originally projected to sell maybe a few million units for the whole year, it suddenly became a product that will be considered a financial failure for Apple not selling 13 million iPads. Wall Street has become totally focused on a product that wasn't even in existence before April to anchor Apple's share price. How stupid is that. So it's not exactly an amazing success as some might say.
There are consumers that like the iPad and obviously those that hate it. It's unfortunate the more people don't like it, but I guess it just can't do enough to please everyone. I hope it sees wider adoption in businesses so Apple can get into the enterprise without having Microsoft's OK.

curtjester says:

Not surprised at all, the surprise would be if it didn't make the list.
When the iPad was first announced I was rather cold to it, but the more I thought about a larger iOS device the more I realized how cool it could be and so bought one on day one and have used it every day since.

Myria says:

Only Apple could get credit for "inventing" a decades-old product.
Honestly, I like my iPad well enough, but there isn't a single new or revolutionary thing about it. May as well give Apple an award for "inventing" 3G and WiFi while they're at it, it would make just as much sense.

Shrike says:

@Myria - it is in the article. Tipb basically quotes it in full:
"How does Apple keep out-inventing the rest of the tech industry? Often, it’s by reinventing a product category that its competitors have given up on. In theory, the iPad is merely a follow-up to such resoundingly unpopular slate-style computers as Microsoft’s Tablet PC. But Apple is the first company that designed finger-friendly hardware and software from scratch rather than stuffing a PC into a keyboardless case."
This is basically the way of things. There was never a time when someone or some entity invented a completely new never before seen thing. It's constant iteration. Sometimes, a company's iterative product really does break the mode and they deserve kudos for it.
Unfortunately, the only completely new thing, cut out of whole cloth, that I can think of is the atomic bomb. Even so, that basically took a nation's resources, hundreds of the world's leading physicists, decades of prior physics knowledge, and the threat of war to create.

Bob Marley14 says:

Interesting comments, however let's not forget a few things.

  1. Wall street considers it a financial failure? Really? Don't you think Apple stock hit the $300 per share threshold in part because of iPad sales and immediate success?
  2. Let's also remember there were only two outlets to buy an iPad until recently - Apple or Best Buy. Distribution is now in Target, Walmart, AT&T stores, and now through Verizon. Do you really think they will fall short of the 13 million mark with so many options for the consumer, and with the holidays coming up?
    @Myria. Nobody said Apple invented the tablet, just as they did not invent the cellphone. What Apple does, and does well, is define a category. Think about it. Was anyone talking about tablet computers this time last year?

Now we have to deal with those clowns at RIM and their "game changer" the Playbook. Yeah right. Dollar short, day late.

sting7k says:

The iPhone is 4.5 years old now, does a jumbo sized one really count as an invention?

Webvex says:

@sting7k, that is a common misconception. The iPad is more than a jumbo iPod/iPhone. There are many apps created exclusively for the iPad, a lot of them for content creation. The increased screen real estate allows for a near desktop/notebook type of interface—with the beauty of multi-gesture touch interaction.

sting7k says:

For me fancier apps does not equal a near desktop experience. If my iPhone had a 10" screen it could do everything the iPad does and run those fancy apps. When you put your iPad into the keyboard dock, simulating a desktop/laptop form factor, I don't see it gaining extra desktop like features. It's also still a tethered device, you need iTunes and a desktop to take full advantage of all it has to offer.
That's just me. I can see why some people enjoy it. It's a neat and of course that big screen is nice compared to the iPhone. I hope some day it will become more than a big iPhone for me.

tlo07 says:

I was an iPad nay-sayer when it first came out. Now I'm anxiously awaiting iPad 2....

Edie says:

@sting7k: You've obviously never experimented with an iPad. When was the last time wen a company introduced multi-touch display with an accurate display.. Never! Apple is re-inventing what a tablet should at least do. Combine both a desktop & a mobile experience. Example: iTunes & Apps on the go. And Safari(web) & iWork built in for a business & desktop experience. Apple is just trying to do what people have been asking for, for almost a decade.. & that's what they brought in 2010.

Nancy says:

It is true that Apple did not invent the slate computer. They just happened to do it better than the folks before them. That's what made it work this time. And they are masters of promotion. I happen to find the iPad very useful, and I believe the slate style of computer will continue to grow in popularity and usefulness with new worthwhile apps and built-in features.

digital magazines says:

I love reading digital magazines on iPads and iPhones. I use Other edition's newsstand for reading digital magazines.

Meme says:

It's a very nice invention