As the decade comes to a close, The New York Times has published its retrospective look back at the 2010s. The piece, titled “The Decade Tech Lost Its Way,” includes a brief quote from Phil Schiller in which he explains the origin of the iPad and the role Steve Jobs played in its development.

The iPad kickstarted the 2010s for Apple, with Jobs unveiling the device during a special event on January 27, 2010. Schiller explains, however, that the process really started when Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. At this point, Apple was in the process of trying to reinvent itself with the idea of a “computer device” under $500 with an “Apple quality and experience we’d love,” Schiller explains.

Jobs pointed out that, in order to hit that price, Apple would need to “remove things aggressively,” signaling the shift away from the clamshell design. Schiller recalls:

And so the team started working on multitouch technology. During that process, a human interface design, Bas Ording, showed us this demo where he pretended to scroll and the whole screen moved up and down with realistic physics. It was one of those “holy crap” moments.

It was during the development of what would become the iPhone 3G that Apple turned its attention back to the iPad project. Schiller says that it was easy to take what Apple had learned from the iPhone project, and create what would eventually become the first-ben iPad.

When we got back to iPad, it was really easy to imagine what to take from iPhone and what needed to be different to create the product it would be. It really helped.

The full piece from The New York Times can be found here. It also includes a look at the moment Tim Cook ascended as Apple CEO, Walt Mossberg’s early memories of the iPad, the development of Siri, and more.

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