The iPad is the first tablet

iPad generation from Apple: The iPad sequence at a glance

Since the launch in 2010, a whopping 22 iPad generations have been released by Apple - from the very first iPad to the iPad Air 4. We have an overview of the correct iPad order.

iPad - 2010

Who still remembers? It's been around nine years since Steve Jobs presented the first iPad in January 2010. Many of the features of the iPhone and iPod were simply adopted, such as the 3-axis accelerometer. Basically, it was just an oversized iPhone, even more than it is now. The screen diagonal of 9.7 inches has established itself as a kind of standard and is still used today. But: the iPad didn't have a camera.

Even then, months before the release, there was speculation about the new device, which at the time was still in the press under the name iSlate. Today the first iPad is only for the nostalgic - after all, there have been no software updates for it for years. Many apps no longer work on the aged Apple tablet. The first iPad definitely has a place in the (technology) history books.

iPad 2 - 2011

After the success of the first iPad, it quickly became clear that a successor was needed. In 2011 the time had come: The iPad 2 celebrated its release, this time even with a camera on the front and on the back for taking pictures and video conferencing. As (almost) always, the processor and graphics performance have been improved, and it has become 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the original.

iPad 3 - 2012

The iPad 3, which at the time was simply announced by Apple as "the new iPad", came up with a significantly improved screen resolution. The retina display with 2056 x 1536 pixels made the iPad 2012 the tablet with the highest resolution. The processor performance remained the same compared to its predecessor, but the graphics chip was improved to accommodate the higher resolution. It was also the first iPad with LTE support.

iPad 4 - 2012

In autumn 2012, just a few months after the release of the iPad 3, the fourth generation was presented somewhat surprisingly. Although hardly anything has changed in terms of the actual features, Apple has given the new model a significantly more powerful processor. The iPad 4 also ushered in a new product cycle: After iPads usually went on sale in spring, new iPad launches have usually taken place in autumn since then.

iPad mini - 2012

Together with the iPad 4, the first iPad mini was also presented. As the name suggests, it was a somewhat smaller tablet with a screen diagonal of only 7.9 inches - which is actually small for a tablet in view of today's smartphones with a diagonal of well over 6 inches. While many of the features of the actual iPads were adopted, including 4G cellular communications or more advanced cameras, the older iPad 2 chipset was used as the processor. However, the iPad mini was also intended as an entry-level model and, at a price of 329 US dollars, was the cheapest tablet in Apple's portfolio at the time.

iPad Air - 2013

The iPad Air was born in autumn 2013. Especially under the hood, a lot has happened with the change to a more powerful 64-bit processor, making it about twice as fast as its predecessor. At the same time, it lived up to the Air name by adopting the more compact form factor of the Mini series.

iPad mini 2 - 2013

Together with the iPad Air, the second generation of the iPad mini was presented, which also received a retina display. Otherwise, the power has increased significantly after the first iPad mini came along a bit slimmed down. The second generation had the same A7 chipset as the iPad Air on board, making it basically a smaller and above all cheaper iPad Air.

iPad Air 2 - 2014

In 2014, the iPad Air 2 followed, the last Apple tablet to date with the Air name affix, which is still used in the MacBook series of the same name. This time a lot was different: While a new iPad always had the same processor and features as the current iPhone, Apple treaded new paths with the second generation of the iPad Air - and built in its first triple-core processor, which clearly marked the iPad Air 2 more powerful than the iPhone 6. In addition, the RAM has been doubled from 1 GB to 2 GB.

iPad mini 3 - 2014

Compared to its direct predecessor, the iPad mini 3 has only one new feature to offer, apart from a new color option - the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Otherwise, technically everything stayed the same.

iPad mini 4 - 2015

With the introduction of the iPad mini 4, the third generation of the mini series was immediately taken off the market. Inside, the A8 chipset does its job, the RAM has been doubled to 2 GB compared to its predecessor. And: The iPad mini 4 has been designed to be even more compact. The mini tablet doesn't have to hide in terms of performance either: it is almost as powerful as the iPad Air 2. To date, Apple has not presented a successor to the iPad mini 4, it is still sold unchanged.

iPad mini 4Buy now at


iPad Pro 12.9 inch - 2015

Together with the iPad mini 4, Apple also presented a completely new product - namely the iPad Pro 12.9 inch. The gigantic screen diagonal and the addition to the name make it clear that the giant tablet is aimed more at professional users. In combination with the separately available Apple Pencil, graphic artists and designers can use the iPad Pro for drawing, which works very well thanks to the low latency and high precision.

At the same time, Apple introduced the new connection called Smart Connector with the Pro series, via which Apple's Smart Keyboard can be connected. In addition, the Pro tablets always have the currently most powerful Apple processor on board.

iPad Pro 9.7 inches - 2016

A smaller pro model should follow in 2016, which should not be understood as just a small offshoot. The 9.7-inch version comes with true-tone display technology, which makes colors look more natural and lively. In addition, Apple integrated a 12-megapixel camera, which can also be used to take Live Photos.

iPad (5th generation) - 2017

2017 didn't introduce a new iPad Air 3 or a new iPad Pro. Instead, Apple simply announced a new iPad "- ultimately a slightly faster iPad Air 2. You have to accept minor compromises, such as the lack of screen lamination. On the other hand, at a price of 329 US dollars, it was especially cheap.

iPad Pro (2nd generation) - 2017

The iPad Pro 9.7 has now become one with 10.5 inches with almost identical dimensions. This was made possible by reducing the bezels of the screen. Among other things, the so-called ProMotion display with a smooth refresh rate of 120 Hz is new. This also makes the interaction with the Apple Pencil even more seamless, as inputs are processed even faster by the display. The 12.9-inch version has also been updated to the latest technology.

iPad (6th generation) - 2018

Support for the Apple Pencil was previously reserved exclusively for Pro tablets - the 2018 9.7-inch iPad changed that. Since Apple is primarily targeting educational institutions with this entry-level device, support for the input pen has been appropriately integrated. At 349 euros, entry into the pencil world has never been cheaper. Of course, the performance inside has also been improved once again, for example on the A10 Fusion, which is also built into the iPhone 7.

iPad Pro with Face ID - 2018

In autumn 2018, Apple announced two new iPad Pro models with a screen size of 11 and 12.9 inches. The special thing about them: A modified design without a home button, but with significantly slimmer display edges - and with Face ID, which Apple introduced on the iPhone X in 2017. Apple's current flagship chipset is installed with the A12X Bionic. In addition, the new Pro models are the first iPads with a USB-C port, which makes connecting accessories easier.

iPad Pro (2018) Buy now at


iPad Air (3rd generation) - 2019

The iPad Air 3 is compatible with the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. Image: © Apple 2019

For a long time it looked as if Apple would no longer maintain the Air range - until the third generation was surprisingly introduced in 2019. It comes up with a 10.5-inch display and good performance. Inside, for example, the A12 Bionic does its job, which ensures that the pace of work is fluid at all times. In addition, the new iPad Air with its true-tone display shows content even more naturally. Accessories such as the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard are also supported.

iPad Air 3 (2019) Buy now at


iPad mini (5th generation) - 2019

You can also use the Apple Pencil with the new iPad mini. Image: © Apple 2019

No less surprising was the announcement of an iPad mini 5. Before that, it looked as if ever larger iPhones would simply make this tablet category superfluous. The iPad has a 7.9 inch display and also has the fast A12 Bionic chipset under the hood, the fifth generation is also compatible with the Apple Pencil, but the Smart Keyboard cannot be connected.

iPad mini 5 (2019) Buy now at


iPad (7th generation) - 2019

The 2019 entry-level model differs little from its direct predecessor. Image: © Apple 2019

The iPad 2019 hardly differs from the iPad 2018: the display diagonal has increased slightly from 9.7 inches to 10.2 inches, and inside almost everything is the same - only the RAM has been slightly improved. Above all, the support for the Smart Keyboard, a feature that was previously reserved for more expensive iPads, is new. Like its predecessor, the 2019 model also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil.

iPad (2019) Buy now at


iPad Pro (4th generation) - 2020

The iPad Pro 2020 comes with a screen diagonal of 11 and 12.9 inches - and for the first time has a LiDAR scanner on board. Put simply, it is a sensor with which the iPad can precisely measure the distance to objects, which is particularly beneficial for AR apps. Inside, the A12Z Bionic does its job, all models have 6 GB of RAM installed. The highlight: A new version of the Magic Keyboard has its own trackpad, which should make it possible to work more productively, for example when working with tables.

iPad Pro (2020) Buy now at


iPad Air (4th Generation) - 2020

The iPad Air (4th generation) has a larger screen than the iPad Air 3 (10.9 inches vs. 10.2 inches) and also has a stronger chip (A14 vs. A12). In addition, this Air model no longer has a home button, Touch-ID has moved to the power button on the side. The display also supports True Tone technology for automatic adjustment of the color temperature to the ambient light. Also new to the Air: USB-C instead of a Lightning connector for faster data transfers.

iPad (8th generation) - 2020

The iPad (8th generation) was presented in September 2020. Image: © Apple 2020

The iPad (8th generation) is only a slight product update compared to the iPad (7th generation) from 2019. Compared to its predecessor, Apple only updated the chip. Instead of the A10 Bionic, the A12 Bionic is now used, which of course ensures better performance. Otherwise, the iPad 2020 is virtually identical to the iPad 2019.

iPad (8th generation) Buy now at