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My 10 Year Review of the iPad

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read
My 10 Year Review of the iPad

10 years ago the iPad was "about to replace the personal computer."

Today the iPad is "about to replace the personal computer."

10 years from now I suspect the iPad will be "about to replace the personal computer."

Meanwhile, people like me and millions of others will continue to work on an iPad, not really trying to prove a point, just trying to use the best tool for us.

When Steve Jobs debuted the iPad in 2010, he described it as a device that would live between a laptop and a smartphone. By that measure, I think the iPad has more than lived up to that positioning, and I don't think anyone would disagree. It's more capable than an iPhone, but not as capable as a Mac.

The thing that still bothers people is the idea of the iPad replacing the Mac for all people and I just don't know if that's going to happen. The Mac debuted in 1984 and evolved into what we have in front of us today. The iPad is 26 years younger, and it was conceived and grew up in a completely different era, and as such, has much different priorities and design philosophies. Of course it doesn't work just like the Mac!

We live in interesting times, where the personal computer is not being replaced by anything, but instead is growing into a collection of devices. Your data lives in the cloud, you can do tons on your watch, and you likely do most of your "computing" on a 5 inch screen in your pocket. Within 10 years we will likely have another major platform that we will get to see grow from fun tech demo to relevant and useful mainsteam products, and I would not be surprised if we have the same conversations around "is it a success if it doesn't totally replace something else for everyone?" that we continue to have about the iPad.

I'm writing this, as I have the last 1,000 or so posts on this site, on an iPad. It's the best tool for the job, and I genuinely love this hardware/software combination. By that measure, the iPad has been a massive success in its first 10 years. And based on sales, it looks like this platform is going to be around for quite a while longer, and those are the most important measures of success for me.