There has been a lot of movement in the tablet world these past couple of weeks. On June 18th, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his company’s PC version (two, actually — Surface and Surface Pro). And just today at the Google I/O keynote, Hugo Barra, Director of Google Product Management, threw the search engine’s new tablet, Nexus 7, into the ring. Tablets have been around for years; they’ve even been around for years before the market-redefining iPad launched in 2010. Though only a handful have become household names (and lifestyle necessities) there are dozens of lesser-known tablets and tablet manufacturers trying to edge their way into the competitive domain.
What’s most fascinating about the tablet storyline is just how accelerated it is. Unlike computers or mobile music players or even smartphones, the zero to 60 for tablets — both in terms of technological advances and population penetration — has taken fewer than five years. For a refresher of this journey, take a look at this timeline we’ve created below.