Steve Jobs Describes the iPad 27 Years Before its Release (Audio)

Posted in Apple, Apple News on 04/10/2012 by J. Glenn Künzler


Matthew Panzarino of TheNextWeb shares new details of a speech delivered by Steve Jobs in 1983 at the Center for Design Innovation. The speech has surfaced before, in which Jobs accurately predicts many aspects of the future of personal computing, but an original casette tape of that speech has now been found as well, containing an additional 30 minutes of questions and answers.

There are several especially fascinating nuggets in the newly unearthed audio. The below clip describing what would become the iPad 27 years later is especially interesting:

“Apple’s strategy is really simple. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes. That’s what we want to do and we want to do it this decade,” says Jobs. “And we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.”

The clip is just filled with fascinatine excepts, such as this one predicting the future of computer networking:

“We are putting a lot of computers out that are made to be used in a standalone mode, one person, one computer,” says Jobs. “But it isn’t very long before you’re going to get a community of users that want to hook them all together. Because ultimately, computers are going to be a tool for communication. Over the next 5 years, the standards for doing this are going to evolve, they all speak a different language right now.”

There also an extremely interesting bit describing the idea behind the App Store:

He thought that the software industry needed something like a radio station so that people could sample software before they buy it. He believed that software distribution through traditional brick-and-mortar was archaic since software is digital and can be transferred electronically through phone lines. He foresees paying for software in an automated fashion over the phone lines with credit cards.

There are many reasons why Steve Jobs was often called a visionary – and as more information, speeches, and hidden nuggets of wisdom from Jobs continue to surface, the extent of his visionary forward-thinking brilliance only becomes more clear.

The entire speech, including the Q&A, can be found at, and is also embedded below for your convenience. Head on over the Matthew Panzarino’s article at TheNextWeb for an excellent summary of Jobs’ comments from the Q&A.


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.