This week in tech history: iPads go on sale, Instagram comes to Android, and the Nokia N95

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the launch of the iPad. It was on this very day in 2010 when thousands of people lined up to buy a tablet that promised a new kind of personal computing, a vision Bill Gates first demonstrated 10 years prior. The iPad reviews were mixed, with few in the tech press willing to predict another home run like the iPod and iPhone before it. Most saw potential, even if they couldn’t see the device’s immediate appeal beyond a media consumption device.

Here’s Joshua Topolsky’s take at the time:

“The buyer of an iPad is one of two people, the first is someone who sees not just the present, but the potential of a product like the iPad… and believes in and is excited about that potential. This is also a person who can afford what amounts to a luxury item. The second is an individual who simply doesn’t need to get that much work done, and would prefer their computing experience to be easier, faster, and simpler.”

And here’s Walt Mossberg’s:

“All in all, however, the iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.”

Well, it’s been seven years and the PC is still alive and kicking, though shipments have been steadily declining in the face of smartphone and tablet sales. Yet after making a frenetic start, selling 300,000 units on the first day, iPad sales have also been in decline for several quarters just like tablets in general. Both PC and tablet sales seem to have stemmed their declines recently, stabilizing at current levels of about 260 million PCs sold in 2016 compared to 175 million tablets. In other words, lots and lots of people are still driving “trucks” per Steve Jobs’ post-PC analogy.

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