Before two years ago, we didn’t yet know much about the hypothetical Apple tablet device, prescient leaks and rumors aside. We didn’t know for sure which OS it would run (although we were pretty confident it would be iOS and not Mac OS X). We didn’t know what it would cost — the WSJ hinted at pricing near the $1,000 mark — and we didn’t know what it would look like. We certainly didn’t know what it would be called, even though there were strong suggestions; apparently the Mad TV writers and some Dubai architects had some good sources.
We couldn’t have guessed that our most extravagant estimates of sales would prove to be woefully meager. We could not foresee that Apple’s tablet would come to dominate its own category in a manner similar to the iPod’s remarkable run through the 2000s, and contribute to a level of financial success the company has never seen before (and that few companies ever have).
We didn’t imagine that both consumers and businesses would gravitate to the iPad’s flexibility and power, with enterprise customers adopting it at a breakneck pace. We probably could have anticipated a revised and updated version months later. And we did not expect that case polishing operations at two iPad suppliers would suffer deadly explosions, deepening concerns and questions about workplace safety and employee treatment at the factories owned by Foxconn, a manufacturing partner to Apple and scores of other electronics companies.