We live in explosively innovative times for tablet computing and mobile apps. But it didn't all happen overnight. Most attempts to build a tablet-like computer, going back to the '70s, were not successful. Yet every failure was a lesson learned that led us to the iPad. Here's a look back at how the modern tablet came to be.
Back in the late '70s the iPad was starry-eyed science fiction. But Apple had some ideas and commissioned a device called the Apple Graphics Tablet. It wasn't a tablet in the modern sense because it had no mobility. It was an accessory that connected to an Apple II computer so a user could draw images on the tablets with a wired stylus pen that would appear on the Apple II screen. Priced at $650 the Apple Graphics Tablet was a novelty and not a great success. It was soon replaced by a more efficient device for screen navigation: the mouse.