how are they alike Bill Gates and an air conditioner? It might seem like a joke, but the truth is that they have two things in common: the first iPad and making life difficult for Apple. Because yes, the first iPad was called iPAD, it had a Windows operating system and it was manufactured (and offered for sale) by a manufacturer that, today, is best known for its air conditioners.
Fujitsu and Microsoft: hardware, software and name
“What if you could significantly increase customer service and efficiently have third-party apps, all from a lightweight device that fits in the palm of your hand? It’s simple with Fujitsu’s mobile iPAD.” These are the first sentences of the presentation letter of a product that was focused on the business market, to streamline processes and, in turn, be a computer without being a computer. And yes, we are in 2006 and we are talking about the iPAD. A year before the iPhone was presented, and where we did not know anything about iOS, or the App Store, or anything we know today.
This device, which incorporated the Windows CE operating system (focused on mobile devices), looked like a PDA with keys. Bigger than a phone, and with physical keys. And if we look at the characteristics of this device, the truth is that they are very surprising:
- intel processor
- 128 MB of RAM and 64 MB of Flash memory (storage)
- 3.5-inch LED-backlit display
- laser scanner and barcode scanner
- Ability to make calls over Wi-Fi (Voice IP)
- 1800mAh battery
- IP52 certified water resistance
- Internet connection via Wi-Fi
- OS Windows CE.NET 5.0 with app store
It was 2006, and this existed. A waterproof iPad! And with Wi-Fi connection, when the technology was still in the incubator. A computer in our hand with which we had access to an application store. And with the ability to manage tasks of any business. And yes, it was updated wirelessly and remotely, without having to connect it to a computer. And yes, it could also connect with Bluetooth peripherals and accessories. In 2006, your computer was not a computer. It was an iPad. To this day, Apple has made our computer not a computer. But our computer is an iPad.
But Apple’s iPad had a different philosophy.
Although this device shares a lot of philosophy with the iPad we know, Apple’s original focus was not on a PDA, but on improve the concept of Tablet PC, popularized by Microsoft. The idea of creating a large touch device, to manage an operating system by hand, and capable of performing the same tasks as a computer.
And where is the complicating life for Apple? iPAD was a registered trademark of Fujitsu. Apple couldn’t use that name unless they shelled out a hefty amount of money. And that’s how in 2010, Apple knocked on Fujitsu’s doors with the checkbook ready. But the most curious of all is that Fujitsu had to claim the name of iPad from Apple. Because they first launched the productand then, finding itself in trouble, Apple had to pick up cable and put money on the table.