When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010, reactions were mixed. Skeptics said it was just a huge iPod touch, and would be Apple's first hardware failure in years. Less than three years later, that day stands as one of the most pivotal in tech history. The proof? On Black Friday, the iPad-led tablet market may pass laptops in North America.
The latest research from NPD DisplaySearch suggests that the smartphone is quickly heading for ubiquity, with annual shipments expected to exceed one billion in 2016. Given there are only seven billion people on the planet, a significant proportion of the earth's inhabitants can be expected to be carrying one by that point, signalling a huge shift in computer ownership. Who would have thought just ten years ago that most of us would be carrying a computer in our pocket.