Even though Apple didn’t invent the tablet, the American company revolutionized the market for mobile devices: a new iPad appears every year, and there are now umpteen models.

After Steve Jobs was able to present the first iPad on January 27, 2010, it appeared in the USA on April 3, 2010 and only a short time later – since May 28 to be precise – it also conquered the German market. Since then, the tablet has established itself worldwide: in the last year alone, almost 50 million iPads were sold over the counter (as of March 30, 2020).

Like all Apple products, the tablets can easily be connected to other company devices via iTunes and iCloud. But what exactly is the difference between the models? Below you will find an overview of all iPads in the correct order – starting with the latest generation.




Last year Apple introduced three new tablets: The iPad Pro in March, the iPad 8 in September and the iPad Air 4 in October.

The three new models differ in detail as follows:


Last year, Apple released these new models: a larger-screen iPad (10.2-inches) that remained just as expensive as its predecessor. The iPad Air has a 10.5-inch display and a 7-megapixel front camera. And last but not least, an iPad mini with True Tone and a wide color gamut was released for sale without much notice. It is still unclear when the new iPad Pro will be presented.

The three new models differ in detail as follows:


Last year, Apple presented two new iPad Pro models: one with a 10.5-inch display and the other with a 12.9-inch display. However, the new design was particularly eye-catching – because both variants no longer have a home button, have thinner display edges and are equipped with Face ID. In addition, the two tablets are the first of their kind to feature a USB-C port. The new iPad, which was also released on the market in 2018, scores with significantly more performance and can now also be operated with the Apple Pencil – until now only the Pro models had supported this practical function.

The three models differ in detail as follows:


Also in 2017, Apple launched three new iPad models: A larger iPad (10.5-inch) that has only slightly more power than the iPad Air 2, an iPad Pro with a ProMotion display that is only a bit larger than its predecessor (10.5 inches), but has significantly more screen area – this was made possible by the reduced screen edges. And a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the same technology. What’s still new: Both iPad Pro models now have four GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage.


This year, the company presented a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro variant with True Tone display technology to the public. The integrated 12-megapixel camera is particularly noteworthy – it can now also be used to take live photos. Available in silver, gold, rose gold and space grey, customers can choose between 32, (only with WLAN) 128 and 256 GB for this iPad.


With an unprecedented size of 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro 2015 made a name for itself for the first time. Due to its enormous screen diagonal, the huge tablet should primarily appeal to those customers who want to use the iPad for drawing. Along with this, you can buy an Apple Pencil separately for the tablet in order to use the mobile PC optimally. As part of this innovation, the new Pro version has a new connection: the Smart Connector – it can be used to connect the Smart Keyboard. At the same time, the iPad mini 4 appeared with two GB of RAM and an A8 chipset.


The iPad mini 3 appeared this year, which – in contrast to its predecessor – only came up with a new color option and the fingerprint sensor (Touch ID). Otherwise nothing has changed in terms of technology. The iPad Air 2, on the other hand, received a powerful upgrade with the triple-core processor, which was installed for the first time by Apple. The iPhone 6 came out at the same time, but to everyone’s astonishment it didn’t have the same processor as the iPad (which was usually the norm). The Air 2’s RAM has been increased to two gigabytes.


The iPad Air was born: equipped with a more powerful 64-bit processor and therefore twice as fast as the previous model, while the design was adapted to the iPad mini. The iPad mini 2 with Retina display and A7 chipset also appeared in 2013 and was marketed as a smaller and, above all, cheaper counterpart to the iPad Air.


This year, Apple launched the iPad 3 with a retina display (2056 x 1536 pixels) – a tablet with the highest resolution to date. The processor remained the same as its predecessor, but the optimized graphics chip and LTE support were new. Surprisingly, the iPad 4 appeared just a few months later with a more powerful processor and the same features as its predecessor. Also in 2012 came the first iPad mini with a 7.9-inch screen diagonal. The features are similar to those of the large iPad (including 4G mobile communications), but the iPad 2 chipset was outdated – but the mini was also Apple’s cheapest tablet at the time.


Equipped for the first time with a camera on the front and back, the iPad 2 celebrated its premiere in autumn 2011. With a better processor and better graphics performance, the tablet particularly impressed with its slimmer appearance and lower weight than its predecessor.


In early 2010, Steve Jobs introduced the first 9.7-inch iPad. Many of the functions contained therein were already known from Apple – such as the iPhone and the iPod. Equipped without a camera but with a 3-axis acceleration sensor, the tablet was a sensation at the time. Although it was actually just a larger version of the iPhone.

Note: The article was first published in October 2019.

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