Court filing reveals Apple's iPad prototype from early 2000s

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Pictures of early design concepts for the iPad made between 2002 and 2004 have been revealed through an Apple court filing.

The pictures, published on Wednesday by Network World, show an early prototype design very similar to the final product Apple would eventually release in 2010. It features many of the signature elements of the iPad, including rounded corners, a dock connector port at the bottom, a front panel dominated by a glass touchscreen, and a plain back with just the Apple logo.

However, the early concept lacks the home button that is found on all iOS devices, and it also features a smaller black border on the outside of the screen. The concept device is also noticeably thicker than the first-generation iPad ended up being in 2010.

Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, was asked about images of the prototype in a deposition conducted in December of 2011.

Ive said he couldn't precisely remember the first time he had seen the prototype, but guessed that it was at some point between 2002 and 2004. He revealed that was when Apple was first exploring tablet designs that would eventually become the iPad.

Apple's design chief revealed that the mockup tablet design, referred to as "035," was created as a result of collaboration between himself and other members of the company.

iPad


"I recognize this as one of... the models that we made as part of the design process, as part of the exploration," Ive said in the deposition.

The images confirm a story told by Steve Jobs at the 2010 All Things D conference, when he revealed that Apple had internally developed a touchscreen tablet long before the iPhone became a reality.

It was at the D8 conference in 2010 that Jobs first revealed that the development of the iPhone actually began as Apple was looking into building a touchscreen tablet. The original vision of Jobs was a glass multi-touch display that users could type on with their fingers.

"I asked our people about it, and six months later they came back with this amazing display," Jobs said. "And I have it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He got scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, 'My God, we can build a phone with this.' So we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the iPhone."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    So basically this confirms that the iPhone and iPod Touch are small tablets and not the other way around what people have been saying that the iPad is just a blown up iPhone/iPod Touch..
  • Reply 2 of 71
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,729member


    But Samsung was working on this WAY before then. Like in the 70s. They just kept it all REALLY secret, and only decided to release their products *after* Apple, purely because it was the gentlemanly thing to do. 

  • Reply 3 of 71


    Meh, looks like one of those Windows tablets. Thick, and prototype-looking. Of course, back then, this was great. 

  • Reply 4 of 71
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member


    Very cool. I imagine one of the biggest things holding it back was battery technology.

  • Reply 5 of 71
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,501member
    Meh, looks like one of those Windows tablets. Thick, and prototype-looking. Of course, back then, this was great. 
    Ummm, yeah. This was a prototype. That is why it looks like one. And even then, what windows tablet looked even close?
  • Reply 6 of 71
    nealgnealg Posts: 132member


    Interesting how long it took for Apple to finally get this to market. Even for the iPhone. Possibly 3-5 years. Yet after Apple introduced the iPhone, all of a sudden every other phone manufacturer had a design that was similar as well as an OS that tried to be similar. Same with the iPad for the hardware but it has been harder for the competition to get the tablet. 10 inches of screen real estate for the iPad was too hard to optimize right off the bat. Much easier to do things with just 7 inches of screen real estate.

  • Reply 7 of 71


    This looks like it is made of the same white polycarbonate shell as iBooks were back in 2004.

  • Reply 8 of 71
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    This looks like it is made of the same white polycarbonate shell as iBooks were back in 2004.



    It probably was since the article mentions the years between 2002-2004.

  • Reply 9 of 71
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Does this mean that Apple also invented 'Instagram'?

    Anyway....Seems that all of these 'leak-type' photos have to have that 'grainy' look, it's like it's some kind of requirement to add an element of secrecy. LOL
  • Reply 10 of 71
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,729member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    This looks like it is made of the same white polycarbonate shell as iBooks were back in 2004.



     


    My thoughts exactly!

  • Reply 11 of 71


    I like how it's being held up with those little, white paper cups.

  • Reply 12 of 71
    jcdinkinsjcdinkins Posts: 114member


    Even non-functional (I presume), I wonder what this would go for at auction.

  • Reply 13 of 71
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    noahj wrote: »
    Ummm, yeah. This was a prototype. That is why it looks like one. And even then, what windows tablet looked even close?

    Hmmm... The HP TC1000 that I've owned since 2003?

    389
  • Reply 14 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    daharder wrote: »
    Hmmm... The HP TC1000 that I've owned since 2003?
    389

    That actually existed? I'm pretty sure that was the minority. Most Windows tablets were of the "convertible" style.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    That actually existed? I'm pretty sure that was the minority. Most Windows tablets were of the "convertible" style.


    it did


     


    back around 2005 Charlie Palmer's in Vegas was using these or some other similar HP tablet for their menus. it was pretty cool too. it gave a wine pairing for every dish from their insane wine selection.


     


    only difference with the ipad is a SoC and a better touch screen so you don't need a stylus.

  • Reply 16 of 71
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,158member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    But Samsung was working on this WAY before then. Like in the 70s. They just kept it all REALLY secret, and only decided to release their products *after* Apple, purely because it was the gentlemanly thing to do. 



    haha 


     


     


    Also relevant to the topic is this groundbreaking device which Apple started work on in 1987...


     


    Apple_Newton_and_iPhone.jpg

  • Reply 17 of 71
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Amazing device. I wonder if they initially planned on putting a desktop grade OS like OS X on it back then like the chunky old school tablets the competitors were putting out or if they had always planned on using a mobile OS?
  • Reply 18 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    That actually existed? I'm pretty sure that was the minority. Most Windows tablets were of the "convertible" style.


    This was convertible too and detachable which is what separated it. It actually won a bunch of awards for design too (ha) back in the day. 

  • Reply 19 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    That actually existed? I'm pretty sure that was the minority. Most Windows tablets were of the "convertible" style.


    It is a convertible tablet / laptop.  I'm not specifically familiar with this model, but I have worked on a different convertible laptop that absolutely was a horrendous experience.  You could write on the screen, but you needed to do some things with the keyboard, so you had to move between the two - which didn't really make sense or work in real world situations.  I had high hopes for it as I was an original Compaq iPaq owner/user.  The idea of a larger format iPaq totally made sense to me.  They even got pretty good at handwriting recognition - certainly more so than Palm did with their goofy single letter writing format.

  • Reply 20 of 71


    And how many of these were sold?

     

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