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(Pocket-lint) - It's over a decade since Apple's original iPad was announced. The iPad was launched by Steve Jobs who posed a question. He asked the audience whether "there was room for something in the middle" of the iPhone and the MacBook?

There are many who, at the time, would likely have answered an unequivocal no to that question.

But then Apple sold 3 million iPads in 80 days and it was then clear that the answer to Steve Jobs' question was probably the answer he knew all along.

So how has the device that made tablets a thing changed since it was first announced over a decade ago? We look back at the history of the iPad. 

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Apple iPad (2010)

Announced in January 2010, the original iPad offered an aluminium build with square edges - much like what we see on the current iPad Pro, though the new models are much slimmer. It came with an 9.7-inch display, measured around 13mm thick and weighed around 680g.

The 2010 model featured a 1GHz Apple A4 processor and it came in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage capacities, whilst also promising a 10-hour battery life. Pricing started at $499 and there were accessories including a keyboard docking station, as well as a standard docking station to turn the iPad into a "great photo frame".

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Apple iPad 2 (2011)

The second generation of iPad was unveiled a year after the first, offering a 33 per cent slimmer body - now 8.8mm - and reducing the weight by around 50g to put it under the 600g mark. It also had a new dual-core A5 chip, which was said to perform at twice the speed of the original, with 9x faster graphics, and a repositioned speaker.

The biggest difference with the iPad 2 compared to the original model though: cameras. It had a front camera and a back camera, allowing for FaceTime and video calling. While that's pretty standard now, it was big news at the time.

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Apple iPad 3 (2011)

The third generation iPad arrived in 2012 but while the design remained largely the same as its predecessor, the screen technology vastly improved. Apple called it a "Retina display" - a phrase it continues to use now - and it offered 4x the pixels of the iPad 2, as well as greater colour saturation.

A new A5X chip was also introduced for the third-generation iPad, which saw the graphics processor upgraded to quad-core, and the resolution of the camera also improved - moving up from 1-megapixel to 5-megapixels. Dedicated apps on the App Store were around 200,000 when this model launched and it ran on iOS 6.

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Apple iPad 4 (late 2012)

Only six months after the launch of the iPad 3, Apple announced the iPad 4. It was pretty much the same as the iPad 3 meaning the same 9.7-inch Retina display, a metal build that measured 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm and weighed 652g, but this is the iPad that ditched the 30-pin dock connector and introduced Lightning.

The display on the iPad 4 was the same as the iPad 3 - a Retina display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution - though Apple did equip the iPad 4 with a new A6X processor, which was said to be 2x faster than the iPad 3. It also made a move to support dual-band Wi-Fi and a new front-facing camera arrived, bumping up from VGA to 1.2-megapixels.

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Apple iPad Mini (2012)

Apple launched the first iPad mini alongside the iPad 4, marking new territory for iPad. Retaining a premium metal build, the iPad mini was significantly smaller and lighter than the standard iPad, measuring 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm and weighing 308g - so half the weight. The bezels surrounding the display were reduced and Apple programmed iOS to ignore accidental finger presses on the edge of the screen.

The iPad mini had curvier, rounded edges than the original iPad, but it opted for the iPad 2's resolution in its 7.9-inch screen - 1024 x 768 pixels - rather than the Retina display. It also used the A5 processor, meaning it wasn't quite as powerful as the iPad 4. That said, it might have been mini by nature but it was mighty in what it offered. 

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Apple iPad Air (2013)

The fifth generation of Apple iPad was called the iPad Air and it came with a whole new design, borrowing the curved edges from the iPad mini. It was 20 per cent lighter than the iPad 4 at 469g compared to 652g, but it was slimmer too - 7.5mm compared to 9.4mm - and shorter, making for a more portable device.

The 9.7-inch display was the same as the iPad 4, but Apple reduced the bezels surrounding the display by 43 per cent, meaning a larger viewing area. The same cameras as the iPad 4 were on board the iPad Air, but Apple put a new A7 chip under the hood of the Air, which had 64-bit architecture that allowed for faster autofocus, higher video frame rates and faster photo capture, among other features.

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