The iPad is not a tablet. Go into any retail store, or visit a retailer's website. What does that specific section of the store (or web store) say? “iPads and Tablets.” That's right, they're even categorized differently by retailers, which is undoubtedly the work of Apple.

Most people would never notice this. In fact, it took months before I actually realized that the two were marketed separately, mainly because it really doesn't matter and because competitors have only recently been picking up the pace. Major retailers had no high-end tablets to place alongside the iPad until about six months ago; therefore, the tiny area beside the computer section was only labeled "iPads."

Apple has never called the iPad a tablet, not on the record anyway. No, they don't want you to think of it as a tablet either. Tablets are what those other companies are making. You know, the ones they are suing because their products are so similar. But if those other companies are making tablets and the iPad isn't a tablet, then why is Apple worried about what tablet manufacturers are doing? I digress. To Apple, the iPad is certainly not a tablet. It has adopted said moniker because there is nothing else out there to explain it; it's simply an iPad, much like the iPod is not a MP3 player.

As Tim Bajarin of PC Mag explains, Apple wants to distance themselves from the rest of the tablet market and what Microsoft marketed as “tablets” years ago. According to Bajarin, Steve Jobs saw the original Windows tablets and thought they were too PC-like and that people would never want them. Long story short, he was right. The idea was ahead of its time. However, we eventually will work back towards that design, or something to that effect, as evidenced by the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.

But Steve Jobs wanted to create something "new and different," something people would actually want to use. He succeeded, to an extent. People line up for iPads like crazed zombies on launch day, and they carry them everywhere they go. Some people run their businesses from them, others use them for the ultimate multimedia consuming device. These non-tablet devices are portable, versatile machines that have replaced the need for the home PC for many average consumer. But they are definitely not new or all that different from those archaic machines people used to call tablets. They are simply slimmer, lighter, run more optimized software and keyboards are optional attachments.

So if the iPad is not a tablet, what is it? A "scaled-up smartphone" as Tim Cook rashly called Android tablets? Apple wants you to believe that the iPad is "more than a tablet." Bajarin sees the iPad as a screen that serves as a portal to Apple's magical software and services. (Uhh ... okay?) He also suggests that other manufacturers avoid the term "tablet" altogether as it "welcomes decay."

Let's be real. For all intents and purposes, the iPad is a tablet. That's what the general populace thinks anyway, whether Apple agrees or not. And what's in a name? Whether it is called a "tablet" or a "looking device through which all magic happens," the only thing that matters is what the device can do. Nobody cares whether the iPad is a tablet or not, or whether it shares any common ground with Microsoft's former idea of a tablet, and neither should Apple. They are, after all, controlling the tablet market. Should they surrender that title since they feel their iPads are not tablets?

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143 Reactions to this post

"If the iPad isn't a tablet, what is it?"

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Ateeb Tallaat Khan Glorified ipod
Brandon Ricker A Ipod with a big screen other real tablets do better stuff in a different real tablet way
Henry Van it's an ipod touch xl
Mohammed Mahmoud a stupid machine :E
???? ???? ??????? They should have a special section in the store called "pieces of shit for suckers to xxxx" that were the iPad belongs!
Javier Trejo An iPod touch on drugs! Haha
Blake Chase The first "tablets" were winmo devices... geez, I'm in no way an apple fanboy nor am I an android fanboy, but I prefer android solely on the fact that it an open source os... ios is somewhat smoother only because its so simple, my 2 year old can navigate and use his grandma's iPhone... in the end I feel that android is better than ios remember that is my opinion and should in no way be suggested as me shoving my views down anyone's throat... please understand that no one's opinion is correct... they will all be different
Andrew Jareth Montemayor Ummm a personal pad for your vagina
Stjepan Crni Its an eco frendly paper weight, revolutionized. "It just works"
ShehrYar Asghar A toy but my leap frog is better
Ross Williams A giant iPod Touch ;-)
Ashley Allen Wow apple haters and apple fanboys, why am I not surprised. Seems like now and days there is no in between. I like it for what it is but its a tablet. All companies pretend to seem original,apple has better marketing and better app quality, apps on android can give u same results but less quality I should know I have an android phone and an ipad. android would win the game if the devs actually cared about looks as they do function.
Jay Williams An iPod touch on steroids and a dualcore chip.
Martin Calderon Apple copied Samsung
Vincent Whalen Four iPod touches welded together thuasforth its a large media device
Arnulfo Barajas @zach u have it the other way around
Benjamin Padilla It IS a tablet retards! The only reason companies put "iPads and tablets" as one section is because the iPad is the most popular tablet so people can recognize the name when they're shopping... Phonedog has some great articles but sometimes they ask some of the stupidest questions
Luis Arturo Batista Aquino and ipad is and ipad, as the iphone is an iphone not a mobile device... and if you don´t have an iphone, then you dont have an iphone...
Zach Cline That would be your laggy android tablets.
Sam Rick Apiece of overpriced junk??!
Marti Ruiz A photo frame
Tanmoy Nandi Apple's iPad is very close to be an android killer but just not it.... ;)
Julian J. Perry An obese iPod touch
Roy Portillo Apples needs to rename their products. iPod Touch Mini and iPod Touch Monster lol :D I have an iPad 2 but theres nothing I can do to it that I don't already have done on my iPhone. Thats why I use it strictly for my business and my iPhone for a toy :)
John Brown No matter how u look at it its a tablet, a very nice one I might add, but its definitely not magical.
Joel Gomez Its just a big ipod touch. Literally. All limited functionalities are the same except it has a big screen.
Greg Phifer Its a tablet apple just markets its differently go to at&t website or Verizon theres the category for smartphones and them there's the iPhone
Darryll Little Welch It's an iPad lmao
Joshua Bender Horton A big ASS iPhone
Ben Broyles a fat bag of garbage
Marconi Barros Sobrinho Very unnecessary article
Paul Davis I am using my ipad 2 right now. Heavy laptop or light ipad? Its my college book and portable gaming device. It also plays pr0n very nice as well
Alex Villalpando Arnulfo stfu u apple fanboy troll, its ios isnt even optimized for a tablet, get ur head out of jobs ass or now cook. ;)
Jose Pablo Islas A junk box
Zach Cline The galaxy fail tab is an ipad knockoff just like the rest of the crappy plastic android tablets out there.
Brendon Bowers An overpriced giant square with outdated technology that in the end can't measure up or do as much as an android tablet?
Zach Cline Lol. I'm so tired of that lame flash argument. I can browse the internet just fine without it.
Thanh Phan Magical
Patrick Souza Ipad,, isn't that some kind of place mat for my Tablet PC?
Allen Moss Hi, I'm phonedog and I like to start flame wars for no reason..weeee!
Elvin Burgos I have one and I haven't used it in like a month. My iPod touch does the same stuff. I think I'm going to sell it
Ryan Smith The pads from star trek.
Daniel Galletti An over sized and over priced ipod touch!!
Sergio Llamas It's a iPad lolz
Victor ElJefe Dominguez Arnulfo your the only one on here flipping out about people talking shit about the ipad,let them who cares I don't flip out when people talk about android because I know that android is just better the apple lol, and don't say I never had or touched one I came from apple to android never to look back
Lennes Shaw Ipad is a nice device I can make music with rebirth on it when im away from the studio, I bet the phonedog fans thats hating on apple selected the ipad as their prize for the tablet give awa. Lol
Chris Payne It's an iPod touch for people who are blind, retarded or both.
Lennes Shaw Its the future.... Apple goes hard people are a bunch of haters, dont get me wrong I like android but you cant run or hide from the fact that apple os is smooth. None of my apple devices has frozen up like my android devices.
Josh Foster Be careful guys arnulfo barajas has a keyboard and hes not afraid to use it.
Zachary Gearwar It's a tablet computer. Apple is just lying to not only the consumer, but to themselves as well. They don't want to believe it's a tablet because its made by Apple, and that it runs it's "magical" operating system. As much as I would want one, I have no need for one. All in all, the iPad is a tablet computer. End of story.
Josh Martinez Lol don't hate just 'cause you can't afford one niggasssss~~~ get on my level<3
Arcadeon Knight an overgrown ipod touch with screen and processor improvements. not worth all the fuss and attention.
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Flash is overated
Brian Farley For the flash complainers out there! It's a irrelevant argument when only 16-20% of web content is flash now a days!
Gavin Feist A waste of money.
Hunter Young A turd.
Jesse Moore Duh, it's magic
Mark Fisher Jr. Something else to waste your money on.
Cash Land An obese ipod touch?
Neil Morgan Mighty iPhone 4....
Freddie Mack ipod touch 4 1/2
Carlos Lopez With no flash
Carlos Lopez Computer
Xiomara Cruz It has replaced your laptop with no fuckin' flash... wow. You live a boring life, sir. Lol..
Travis Lamar Pachan Finally people seeing it as a poser. Its just a glorified ipod/iPhone. Same thing with most android media tabs. The only true tablet out there is the Sahara slate. I've had mine for years before the ipad.
Katia Vaynriber It's an overrated and overpriced tablet that can't even do simple things my phone can... Like open flash sites or connect to tv screen without wires lol... How funny is that...
Zach Cline You people are fucking stupid. It's not a pos or an oversized iphone. I don't know where people get that since the apps are optimized completely different for it. And yeah -It doesn t make calls. And it isn't just hype either. It has basically replaced my laptop. Herp- Derp.
Byron E. Cóto I use it for my cocaine .... lol jk
Alex After Buffalo A slab of worthlessness.
Sumeet Deshmukh Ipad is crap, galaxy tab 7.7 or even 10.1 rocks
Salvador Rios-Gomez kinda like a laptop but not there yet...
Xiomara Cruz It only sells for the brand that it is, even though it is a terrible piece of technology. Yes, I have played around with one so for those of you saying 'you haven't even had one to mess with', I have. Anywho, it doesn't even support flash it shouldn't even be considered a tablet, tablets are meant to give you the browsing experience of a mini laptop but this of course fails at it because appl is somewhat prehistoric when it comes to design. Hence the shitty camera on iPhones and iTouches as well as this 'thing'. Apple will go down the shit tubes sooner or later... after everyone gets over the hype of it and actually use some neurons to figure out that it's merely the name and not the actual products that are put out there.. >_>
Brandon Sorto Its a giant app tray
Ernest Marvin Esteban whenever i see someone using an ipad.. i say to myself "Lol, that guy is stupid for wasting his money just for a giant ipod that doesn't do anything but run games"... ipad is more of a gaming device than a tablet... :)
Anthony Peña It's a 10 inch iphone.
Sunny Patel A paperweight
Muneer KhanVict Its a over sized ipod.
Corey Ptaszek A piece of crap
Niko Lapcic its a hugepod touch :D
Focus Finanical Nothing but a flat tablet like the rest, that sells very well.
Larry Valdez I don't know but when I use it in public it makes my banana bigger
Arnulfo Barajas an ipod was never called a mp3 player? ipad is an ipad simple as that!
Dennis Johnson I know what the i stands for. Why buy something that is so restrictive? If China had a national device, it would have an i in front of the name.
Konner Shea giant ipod
Charlie Kuroiwa apple fan boys have no life
Joseph Alan Richardson Its a piece of shit that's what it is :)
Travis Scott Nobles I see Apple as the kid that dresses up like a werewolf and stands on a ledge at the mall to be different.
Gilberto Aponte Ignorant people, so funny
Santos Jaco A giant iPhone lol duh
Isaac Richherds why shouldn't the ipad be a tablet? has no keyboard, only touchscreen and has the classic tablet format ... so ... it is a tablet ... apple ... i hate how they think they are something different ...
Dave Yaeck and Ipod Touch on Steroids.
Ricardo Lopez A wanabe laptop thats overpriced
Brandon Riggs Claiming the iPad is a tablet is like calling a Mac a PC. Apple always has to be different. They are the hipster of consumer electronics companies.
Jair Seaforth iPod touch senior citizen edition
Travis Scott Nobles It's a tablet, regardless of what Apple says it is.
Frank Spicher Jr An over priced status symbol
Ernest Marvin Esteban it really sucks... sold it and bought a honeycomb immediately...
Arxi Kay Apple-ture Science Intelligence Dampening Handheld Device. See?
Phillip Ith a larger version of ipod touch for people with fat fingers and and bad eyesight.
Mike Grace It's a slate. Tablets were defined years before the ipad.
Gaurav Bhattacharjee Whatever it is. I love it.
Luis Valentin-Zeno Ab oversized iPod(literally) and called a tablet
Arnulfo Barajas all these apple haters need to seriously SHUT THE FUCK UP!...and people saying that it sucks problably haven't even tried it or even touched one!!..
Abram Wenevermet Dennis A work of art..
Chris Topher An iSheep magnet.
Odzy Coronadz iNothing
Timothy D Alston I have one and I also have a iPod touch and it is a large iPod touch
Roy De Vera Walican it's a big flat piece of crap!!!
Johan Hulander Postal is a great movie!
Jay LifesGreat Coote peace of shit..duh
Joseph Horton A pad. Apple never stays on the same page as far as names for devices.
ManGuy DudeBro Not a tablet.... It's a pad.... Hence iPad. Not iTablet lol.
Arnulfo Barajas people it looks like a giant ipod but it really isn't just a big ipod!...its a fking computer ur dumbasses!
Michael Montanez A big ipod touch that people with a low IQ will buy thinking that its "revolutionary"
Mj Williams it's a toy...simple as that when I think of tablet I don't think of a mobile os on a big screen...I think of a functional device that can stand in as my personal computer, artist tool, graphics and the whole ten yards. Most of the tablets I've bought are from windows and have been convertible and slate since I was maybe 16 and it has evolved. Apple is a lot of thing, but tablet it is not.
Lok Bun Yeung a rubbish=
Matt Perry Its am oversized ipod touch for your granny LOL
Josh Richardson A large iPod touch.
Cheri Moushey Roby Giant IApple!
Brad Falkner A big slab of suckage.
Tran Tu Quy Its a big iPod touch.
Bryan Catena a tombstone
Joseph L Cole Elegant piece of art
Pat Thompson It's an expensive computer lacking basic connectivity.
Brian Hamilton Giant turd.
Brandon Smith glorified ipod touch
Jimmy Pop itool
Yuvi Love Its a waste of time without flash
Nicola Baggiani i's a huge iPhone that doesn't make phone calls... so it's the iPad!
Donald Dew its everything
Peter Doyle a piece of shit , i have one
Nutthawut Bunsong electric condom
Edward Swardt Magic. Pure magic.
Fonzy Paniagua A giant ipod
Juan Cuara An over priced piece of shit
Vince Young a pad....

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