The iPad is one year old today - that is, if you consider its birthday to be the day it was first shown off to the world by Steve Jobs.

Jobs took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on 27 January 2010 and announced the iPad, calling it "the best browsing experience you've had".

There were many doubts about the device at launch - surveys suggested that many UK citizens would consider buying the iPad but not if it cost more than £250. Others questioned the purpose of the device, saying that it was little more than a scaled-up iPhone - in fact, competitors such as Motorola still level that criticism.

In its 'Tablet Evolution' video released in December 2010, Motorola said of the iPad: "It's like a giant iPhone, but... it's like a giant iPhone." But the iPad had other problems, with many other critics rubbishing the device for its lack of Flash support. Again, this criticism hasn't entirely gone away, with Toshiba recently taking a swipe at the iPad while pushing its own forthcoming tablet.

Early reviews of the iPad praised the device for how easy and fun it was to use, though questioned where exactly it fitted into the market.

However, the critics were confounded by the runaway success of the iPad. Apple recently announced that 7.33 million units were sold in the quarter ending 25 December 2010 and the iPad utterly dominates the media tablet sector, according to figures from IDC.

In fact, sales of the iPad helped Apple to third place in terms of most PCs shifted during the last quarter of 2010, according to a report issued this week by Canalys. Not bad for a device that many people had written off from the start.

Of course, there is a certain amount of debate surround the iPad's birthday - should it be 27 January, when it was announced, or 3 April, when it first went on sale? It was the Wi-Fi only version that was available that day, with the Wi-Fi plus 3G model not arriving until 30 April. Punters in the UK had to wait until 28 May to get their hands on one, though pre-orders had opened on 10 May.

Putting that debate to one side, though, it isn't the iPad itself that is receiving all of the attention on its special day, but its yet-to-be announced little brother, the iPad 2. Rumours suggest that the iPad 2 is likely to launch in the US in April 2011, coming to international markets a few months later.

In terms of new features, there seems to be some doubt as to whether it will have a higher resolution than the original, though we expect to see a camera, a 128GB model and better speakers. It might not have a Home button.

These rumours are unconfirmed for the moment, as Apple is keeping typically tight-lipped about the expected new arrival. What we do know about the iPad 2, though, is that it will have more competition than its big brother - the Motorola Xoom and the BlackBerry PlayBook to name but two. HP and Toshiba also have tablet device in the pipeline, as do dozens of other companies. However, it'd be a fool that bet against the success of the iPad 2, even in the face of such competition.

Happy first birthday, iPad!