Despite initial criticism (albeit brief) when the iPad was first released, there can be no doubt that the device has been insanely successful – it effectively created today’s entire tablet market! But what exactly inspired Jobs to create the iPad?
Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson casts some light on the matter, as quoted, with further commentary from Business Insider:
One of the people who was building Microsoft’s tablet was friendly with Jobs’ wife, Laurene Powell. He asked Jobs and Powell to come to his fiftieth birthday party.
Jobs went, reluctantly, says Isaacson. At the party, the guy was telling Jobs about the Microsoft tablet and how great it was going to be.
This did not go over so well.
Here, in his own words, Jobs describes what happened, and what he did next:
“This guy badgered me about how Microsoft was going to completely change the world with this tablet PC software and eliminate all notebook computers, and Apple ought to license his Microsoft software. But he was doing the device all wrong. It had a stylus. As soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead. This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, “Fuck this, let’s show him what a tablet can really be.” “
Jobs says he went into Apple the next day and asked for a multi-touch tablet with no keyboard or stylus. He got one six months later. Instead of making it a tablet, though, Apple shrank it and made the iPhone. Later on, they released the iPad.
A fascinating insight. And hey – Microsoft still can’t manage to release a tablet that people will actually buy!