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Object Timeline

2010

  • Work on this object began.

2012

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2017

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iPad Tablet Computer, 2010

This is a Tablet computer. It was designed by Apple Industrial Design Team and manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. and the design director was Jonathan Ive. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2012. Its medium is aluminum, arsenic-free glass, plastic. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The importance of Apple Computer Inc. to computer design and consumer electronics is well established in the history of personal computing and digital technology. Incorporated in 1977 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple has been a design innovator for operating systems, hardware, and software. The company has always emphasized good design as an integral element of its business philosophy. Its products, including the Macintosh computer (1984), the iPod digital music and media player (2001), and the iPhone smart phone (2007), have changed the way we interact with digital devices and the world around us.
The iPad tablet computer was introduced in 2010. It is a rectangular, flat, slate-like form with a screen made of a resilient, fingerprint- and scratch-resistant glass. Its size and weight falls between a laptop computer and a smart phone. As such, it is a light, mobile form that can act as a platform for audio visual media such as books, periodicals, movies, music, games, mobile software applications (apps), and web content. Its portability is enhanced by a rechargeable battery capable of holding a charge for 10 hours. Environmental concern is also part of Apple’s design sensibility; the iPad is made of recyclable materials such as arsenic-free glass and a mercury-free backlit display.
The sleek all-in-one unit does not require an external keyboard, stylus, or mouse. Like the iPhone and later iPod models, the iPad is controlled by a multi-touch display, requiring only the swipe of a bare finger. Previous tablet computers, commercially available since the late 1990s, required a pressure sensitive stylus. An innovative feature of the display is that it responds to sensors that adjust screen brightness relative to ambient light. Its motion sensors and built-in apps support screen rotation in four orientations, including upside-down. Screen images automatically switch between portrait and landscape mode to accommodate the user’s posture or preference. Due to the intuitive multi-touch display, the iPad only has four physical switches: volume up, volume down, sleep/wake (for saving energy), and a home button. The home button, in the form of a small dimple on one side of the screen, returns the user to the main menu.
The iPad was a tremendous commercial success. By early 2011, over 15 million iPads had been sold, more than all other previous tablet computers combined.
Apple’s innovative products enhance the museum’s industrial design collection. The iPad tablet computer represents significant advances in design that effectively changed consumer expectations, habits, and lifestyle.

This object was depositor: Roland Trope. It is credited Gift of Roland L. Trope.

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Its dimensions are

L x W x D: 24.3 x 19 x 0.5 cm (9 9/16 x 7 1/2 x 3/16 in.)

Cite this object as

iPad Tablet Computer, 2010; Designed by Apple Industrial Design Team (United States); USA; aluminum, arsenic-free glass, plastic; L x W x D: 24.3 x 19 x 0.5 cm (9 9/16 x 7 1/2 x 3/16 in.); Gift of Roland L. Trope; 2012-21-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18797293/ |title=iPad Tablet Computer, 2010 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 April 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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