When the iPad comes out Saturday, it will be greeted as the heir apparent of an Apple (AAPL) portable-devices dynasty that has spanned nearly a decade. Beginning with the iPod in 2001 and continuing through the various iPhone models, Apple has built a strong series of leaders that has paved the way for its latest product.
Here's a look back at the iPad's forebearers:
Oct. 23, 2001: Apple unveils the iPod, a portable music player, and sells 1 million of them in less than two years.
Sept. 7, 2005: The iPod nano, a lightweight version of the original iPod, launches.
Nov. 3, 2006: iPod shuffle, Apple's pint-sized music player, hits the markets.
June 29, 2007: Apple's highly anticipated iPhone debuts, selling 1 million phones in 74 days.
Sept. 5, 2007: Apple unveils the iTouch, a finger-touch iPod similar to its sexier cousin, the iPhone.
July 11, 2008: iPhone 3G hits the stores, selling 1 million phones in its first three days on the market.
June 8, 2009: Apple unveils iPhone 3GS, which is designed to double the speed of the iPhone 3G.
April 3, 2010: iPad hits the markets. Some analysts project the tablet computer will sell 1 million units within the first full quarter of sales.
Apple shares have climbed dramatically from 2000 to 2010:
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