What you need to know
- Steve Jobs introduced iPad in 2010.
- It arrived three years after iPhone.
- And it was only developed once iPhone was mature.
We've known for years that Apple's work on a tablet device ultimately led it to create iPhone, but Apple's retail chief Phil Schiller has explained exactly how that came about in an interview with the New York Times.
According to Schiller, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 the plan was to produce a "future computer" that could be sold for less than $500. That ultimately turned into iPad, but not before iPhone borrowed the multitouch technology that we all take for granted today.
The project started being about, "O.K., what is a future computer device that can be under $500, that is something we'd be proud of, that has Apple quality and an experience we'd love?" Very quickly, the team and Steve came to, "Well, if we're going to get to a price point like that, we need to remove things aggressively." [...]
And so the team started working on multitouch technology. During that process, a human interface designer, Bas Ording, showed us this demo where he pretended to scroll and the whole screen moved up and down with realistic physics. It was one of those "holy crap" moments.
And once multitouch was shown off, Apple decided to fix an upcoming issue it had identified – phones would eventually eat iPod's lunch. And Apple wanted to be the one leading the charge.
In parallel to all this, iPod had taken off. We knew there was risk that one day a cellphone could play music, that you wouldn't carry two devices, you'd carry one. We wanted to take care of that ourselves and solve that. So we decided we needed to do a phone, a phone that could also replace iPod.
Once iPhone was "up and running" Apple turned its attention back to the tablet project and the rest, as they say, is history.