Stephen Colbert showed the iPad early at the Grammys

February 1, 2010: The technology-loving world is collapsing when it sees comedian Stephen Colbert using an iPad before the release to read the nominations during the Grammy Awards.

“Jay-Z, didn’t you get one of these in your gift bag?” Colbert is joking off stage. “Am I colder than you?”

Celebrity insight is part of Apple’s big (and extremely successful) plan to advertise its upcoming tablet.

Stephen Colbert and iPad hype machine

“I saw [Apple] published it, and I said, ‘God, I want one of them,’ Colbert later told reporters. ‘I’m gone,’ I’m opening the Grammys. Send me one and I’ll take it out of my pocket [onstage]. ‘ By the way, he’s gone – I can’t keep him. They gave it to me on the backstage, took it out, and I gave it to them when I left the stage. This is great.”

Steve Jobs just showed up his iPad in public for the first time a few days earlier, on January 27th. Since Apple’s secrecy ensured that almost no outsider saw the iPad by the time Jobs introduced it, the deal with Colbert followed incredibly quickly.

It’s a reminder of how the original iPad came to be at the time. And how – unlike stunts like Samsung’s mass selfie with the Galaxy Note a few years later at the Oscars – it seemed like the right moment, not like viral marketing. Colbert is, of course, a big Apple fan.

Do you remember the exciting debut of the iPad?

The first-generation iPad went on sale a few months later, on April 3rd. It became the fastest-selling new Apple product line of all time, which took less than a month to sell a million units. It still sold about 25 million units in just over a year.

More than a decade later, the iPad continues to evolve. The iPad range has grown to include the iPad Pro, iPad mini and the increasingly capable iPad. And Apple’s tablet is getting lighter and more powerful.

Remember the iPad coming out at the Grammy Awards? Leave your comments below.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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