Twitter user Riikun retweets a great blast from the past: Suica cards from the start of the service in 2001 (upper left) running zigzag to today (lower right).
Suica started out as Suica io-card because magnetic io-cards were still heavily used back then. Interoperability with other transit cards, the SF (stored fare) system we know today and the ‘busy little penguin’ Suica mascot appeared in 2008. The io tag was dropped soon after.
Riikun reminisces, “I remember those old (first generation) Suica commuter passes, you couldn’t charge them. They sucked.”
Things have come a long way.