iPad Generations in Order: A Comprehensive Timeline and Overview

Scott Daly

Macbook and Ipad on Desk

Here’s a table of every iPad Generation released in the order that they were announced. You can see the Generation name, announcement date, and release date:

iPad (1st generation)Jan-27-2010Apr-3-2010
iPad 2Mar-2-2011Mar-11-2011
iPad (3rd generation)Mar-7-2012Mar-16-2012
iPad Mini (1st generation)Oct-23-2012Nov-2-2012
iPad (4th generation)Oct-23-2012Nov-2-2012
iPad Air (1st generation)Oct-22-2013Nov-1-2013
iPad Mini 2Oct-22-2013Nov-12-2013
iPad Mini 3Oct-16-2014Oct-22-2014
iPad Air 2Oct-16-2014Oct-22-2014
iPad Mini 4Sep-9-2015Sep-9-2015
iPad Pro (1st generation) 12.9-inchSep-9-2015Nov-11-2015
iPad Pro (1st generation) 9.7-inchSep-9-2015Mar-31-2016
iPad (5th generation)Mar-21-2017Mar-24-2017
iPad Pro (2nd generation) 12.9-inchJun-5-2017Jun-13-2017
iPad Pro (2nd generation) 10.5-inchJun-5-2017Jun-13-2017
iPad (6th generation)Mar-27-2018Mar-27-2018
iPad Pro (3rd generation)Oct-30-2018Nov-7-2018
iPad Mini (5th generation)Mar-18-2019Mar-18-2019
iPad Air (3rd generation)Mar-18-2019Mar-18-2019
iPad (7th generation)Sep-10-2019Sep-25-2019
iPad Pro (4th generation)Mar-18-2020Mar-25-2020
iPad (8th generation)Sep-15-2020Sep-18-2020
iPad Air (4th generation)Sep-15-2020Oct-23-2020
iPad Pro (5th generation)Apr-20-2021May-21-2021
iPad (9th generation)Sep-14-2021Sep-24-2021
iPad Mini (6th generation)Sep-14-2021Sep-24-2021
iPad Air (5th generation)Mar-8-2022Mar-18-2022
iPad Pro (6th generation)Oct-18-2022Oct-26-2022
iPad (10th generation)Oct-18-2022Oct-26-2022
iPad Air (6th generation)May-7-2024May-15-2024
iPad Pro (7th generation)May-7-2024May-15-2024

iPad Generations Overview

This section offers an informative guide through the timeline of iPad generations, exploring how Apple has continually innovated the tablet’s design, performance, and functionalities since its inception in 2010.

Introduction to iPad Generations

The iPad has undergone significant transformations. Apple released the 1st generation iPad in 2010 as a groundbreaking tablet that carved out a new niche in mobile computing.

Evolution of Design and Display

Through the years, Apple’s focus on design and display has been evident. The iPad’s design evolved from the thick bezels and button of the 1st generation to the sleek, all-screen aesthetics. The display progressed from the first non-Retina screen to the stunning visuals of the liquid Retina display.

Advancements in Processing Power

Each iPad generation brought a leap in processing power. Initial models came with the A4 chip, and over time, Apple introduced more powerful chips like the A12 Bionic and the desktop-class M1 chip. These advancements ensure that iPads deliver top-notch performance.

Operating Systems and Updates

Initially adopting iOS, iPads later transitioned to a dedicated iPadOS. This provided tailored features taking advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and capabilities, ensuring that each iPad generation stayed current with regular updates, enhancing user experience.

iPad Models and Compatibility

Apple has expanded its iPad line with various models, including the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. Each caters to different users, from casual browsing to professional-grade tasks, while maintaining compatibility with incremental accessories and operating systems.

Functionalities and Accessories

Functionality has been central to the iPad experience. Features like the camera have evolved from basic to professional standards with the addition of LiDAR scanners. Accessories like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard elevate the iPad from a mere viewing device to a creative and productive powerhouse.

iPad Lineup Specifics

Apple’s iPad lineup boasts a variety of models, each tailored to suit different needs, from portable mini versions to powerful Pros. Within the spectrum of options, potential buyers can consider display quality, storage capacity, and compatibility with accessories like the Apple Pencil.

iPad Mini Series

The iPad Mini spans several generations, mostly recognized for their compact size. The series transitioned from using the Lightning connector to adopting USB-C, offering better versatility. Recent Minis also support the Apple Pencil, giving users precision for creative tasks on its smaller display.

iPad Air Series

The iPad Air merges performance with portability. With screen resolutions and storage options that aim to balance usage for work and play, the Air models have moved to using USB-C over Lightning. They run on powerful processors, support Apple Pencil, and have continuously evolved to become lighter and more capable, challenging even the Pro series in performance.

iPad Pro Series

iPad Pro models are the epitome of power within the iPad family, equipped with large, high-resolution displays and storage options. They feature cutting-edge processors, a camera setup near iPhone’s quality, and use USB-C for connectivity. The Pro series is known for working seamlessly with the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, catering to professionals who need more robust features.

Discontinued and Current Models

Discontinued iPads include the very first generations, which ran on now-obsolete processors and operating systems. Apple typically phases out older models as newer ones arrive. As of this writing, active models span from the seventh to the ninth in the basic range, with comparable differences mainly in processing power and camera capabilities. Older versions like the third and fourth generation may lack support for newer features like Touch ID or Face ID, which have become standard in current releases.