Retro Reading: PowerBook Central Coverage of iPad Product Launch At Flagship Apple Store In San Francisco

FEATURE: 04.03.20- Welcome to another edition of “Retro Reading,” a series here in my column, “Mac Potpourri,” where we dig deep into the archives for content written on today’s date several years ago from my days writing for PowerBook Central — a website established in 1997 and retired in 2015, which was defunct until it merged with its sister site, MacPrices, in May 2018 (when I came aboard as a writer) — where I served as one of its three columnists from 2006 to 2009.

Today will be a little bit different since although we will be taking a look back at my coverage of the iPad product launch on April 3, 2010 at the flagship Apple Store in San Francisco, California that was at the time on Stockton St. (now currently in Union Square) which happened ten years ago on this very day? I didn’t actually write about it until just last year.

A customer eagerly walks in to Apple Stockton Street in San Francisco, California in this April 3, 2010 photograph where they are greeted by throngs of employees as hundreds of other anxious customers outside the store await their turn to check out or purchase the newly released iPad. (Photo: Joe Leo / PowerBook Central)

While I, technically, still had been writing for PowerBook Central at the time, I never actually got a chance to write an article about that particular day nor publish the photos I took from the event. I even took some video footage and had planned on posting it on the website so that people could get a feel for what it was like to be there and experience the excitement at the product launch.

So, I finally had the opportunity to do so last year, albeit nine years later, here in my column on MacPrices.

In case you either missed it the first time or have stumbled upon this article only now, nevertheless, because today is the tenth anniversary of the iPad’s product launch, I thought I’d revisit that day with the story I wrote last year for this edition of “Retro Reading” for your viewing (reading) pleasure.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at what I wrote last year about my coverage — primarily in photos — of that day a decade ago today, shall we?

Here is just a sample of my feature article published on April 3, 2019:

That day, on April 3, 2010, while still a columnist for PowerBook Central, with my press identification badge and prosumer (a professional grade consumer level product) Canon D-SLR digital camera in tow, I excitedly headed once again across the San Francisco Bay on BART — the name of the subway system in the Bay Area, the acronym standing for, and aptly so, Bay Area Rapid Transit — over to the city by the bay to cover yet another Apple event: this time, it was the new iPad, Apple’s tablet computer device.

The San Francisco Apple Store was where the main event for the product launch of the iPad in the Bay Area as a whole was being held and in addition where members of the media, like myself, were being accommodated. It was a madhouse and droves of people were gathered in line bunched up at the front door with the line snaking down and around the block for as far as the eye could see, everyone anxiously waiting to get their hands on what was at the time the newest and latest breakthrough product from Apple to hit the streets. I, — as an individual on the special list of persons cleared and given access to get in without lining up with other customers in order to cover the product launch — waited in a separate shorter line with other members of the media waiting to go in first so that we could capture the scene, which for me was, in pictures (only, though I also took some video, as I wanted my photographs to speak for themselves).

Something I actually did write back in 2010 during the week of the product launch (to digress, somewhat, for a moment), not for PowerBook Central but as a local correspondent working on an article for the Alameda Journal (a weekly newspaper publication in my hometown, the island city of Alameda, California where I worked from 2008 to 2012), was a feature piece about Affogato, a software company gearing up and getting its popular iPhone app ready for re-release on the Apple tablet computer. The story primarily focused on its creative director who had spent most of the weekend prior to the release of the iPad putting the finishing touches on their highly-rated game, Strategery, in order for it to be playable on the new device.

This creative director — who also was a software developer as well as the co-founder of the company — along with his partner both started Affogato in late 2008 (the same year Strategery was released) to make iPhone apps for fun in their spare time. Their app would gain notoriety after Macworld magazine awarded it best strategy game in its App Gems Awards for 2009, four months before the release of the iPad.

I would come across Affogato earlier in 2010 while covering the Macworld Conference & Expo (when Apple was no longer the primary featured exhibitor at the show) for both the Alameda Journal, and, of course, PowerBook Central, something I would cover for the website from 2007 to 2009, live blogging the keynote addresses and making the annual trek to San Francisco as a result. As a local correspondent for my hometown newspaper, I had been looking into any exhibitors who were based locally in the island city and to my surprise, found one via help from my contact at IDG World Expo (the sponsor holding the event) who looked at their entire list and cross referenced the cities each exhibitors’ headquarters were located in.

According to the creative director of Affogato,Strategery was a perfect fit for the iPad, deciding as soon as the tablet computer was announced that they would make a version specifically for the new platform as the screen size made the larger map sizes in the game, in their own words, a lot more fun to play.”

As for the iPad itself, speaking in advance of its release, they said:

“We’re all really excited about the device, both as developers and as human beings. I can’t wait to see what ‘magical’ things become possible with a device like the iPad.”

As I wrote in my story last year, Apple, in a press release — the day it was unveiled by then Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 27, 2010 — called the iPad a “magical and revolutionary” device. The new tablet computer was scheduled to be released in late March but was delayed until the following month.

Thus, the product launch on April 3, 2010 which I covered in photographs for PowerBook Central ten years ago today.

To read the full version of my original article published last year — and to view the image gallery — (a small collection from the hundreds of photographs that were taken on that day) — visit the following link:

Image Gallery From April 2010 iPad Product Launch

Thanks for joining me yet again on this edition of “Retro Reading” where we took a look back at a headline from this particular date on the calendar from my days writing for PowerBook Central, except, in today’s case, written on MacPrices. Join me again next time when we dig deep back in to my archives and see what headlines actually were displayed on the front page of that website.


A Note from the Author: for your information (FYI),the Alameda Journal article linked in this story is found on the website of the East Bay Times (the major metropolitan daily newspaper publication covering the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area) where its articles are published online as the weekly paper does not have its own site.

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