Pictures of early iPad prototype turn up

Little-known fact: the iPad came out after the iPhone, but Apple actually started work on the tablet first. Steve Jobs said so a couple of years back at AllThingsD’s D8 Conference. Now, we have photographic evidence, courtesy of Apple’s never-ending legal battle with Samsung.

Court filings snatched up by NetworkWorld and BuzzFeed show a very early iPad prototype, dubbed simply "035," that purportedly dates back to 2002-2004. NetworkWorld has a whole bunch of black-and-white shots, but BuzzFeed’s pictures are in full color—and they include an iPad 2 for reference.

The 035 prototype is quite a bit bigger than the existing iPad. It’s almost an inch thick, and I’d guess it has at least a 12" display. In many ways, the device looks like a monobloc iBook without a keyboard or touchpad. Apple’s iBook G4 had the same thick frame, rounded corners, and white plastic case with a plain logo on the lid.

Around the front, the 035 seems to lack a home button, and the border around its display is much thinner than on the iPad. That thin border might have made it less convenient to use, since there would be less room to rest one’s thumbs when simply holding the device without touching the display.

Too bad none of the images show what software the 035 prototype was running. Steve Jobs said Apple’s engineers had multi-touch input and inertial scrolling working pretty early on, but it wasn’t until 2007 that iOS premiered on the original iPhone. Perhaps the 035 was simply running a modified version of Mac OS X on top of a regular PowerPC G4 processor.

Comments closed
    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    “Hey Dolph, take a memo on your Newton: Beat up Martin.”

    • Goty
    • 7 years ago

    “Early” still isn’t early enough to avoid prior art. 😉

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    The reason tablets didn’t take off in pre-iPad era is because of cost and they were severely limited either in battery life or performance (sometimes both).

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Thanks for the insight Dr Science.

        • adisor19
        • 7 years ago

        Umm, why are you guys hating on him again ?

        Adi

          • Scrotos
          • 7 years ago

          This just in: Smartphones didn’t take off in 1980 because the tech wasn’t ready!

          Here’s another blinding flash of the obvious: People don’t like big heavy things as “portable” devices!

          …that’s why.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            The reason automobiles didn’t take off in the 19th century is because coal was the only fuel.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Actually petroleum did existed back in mid 19th century (First oil wells). The problem was trying to figure out how to distill and utilize its by-products. It wasn’t until late 19th into early 20th century is when we figured out how to fully utilize petroleum. Internal combustion engines existed throughout the same time period, but had to go through several refinements before becoming economically feasible in a “horseless” carriage. They managed to outdo steam engines of the day.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Two reasons:

          1) It’s Krogoth.

          2) See reason #1.

          😀

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    according to other sites, it ran on a pentium M

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      That makes total sense. Think about what kind of tech you’d see in ARM SoC’s if this picture predates the iPhone.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Seems like the intarwebz is going to remember Steve Jobs as a saint in the next five years. Already, everyone scrambles to remember things he said.

    I remember one time Steve Jobs called me an idiot! HONEST! I remember him saying it when I told him competition with Windows and Android made his products better. He said, “You are an idiot and I hate you!”

    Thus sayeth our Lord and Savior, Jobs of the Steve, First of the GUI Thieves, Wielder of the Sacred Touch Patents! DARK PATENT THEFT WILL NOT AVAIL YOU, FLAME OF GOOGLE!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      what are you rambling on about?

      No, really, I can’t tell.

        • trackerben
        • 7 years ago

        He appears to be saying that to many people who spend much time online, Steve Jobs will be regarded as an exceptionally holy man whose various utterances will somehow be worth the effort of publishing, and not just reminiscing. (Commercial Opportunity!)

        Including an alleged demeaning outburst which sounds like an abandoned script element from Pink Five.

        Followed by a tounge-in-cheek stream of epigraphs, epithets, and other epiXs for good measure, mockingly depicting the deceased as divine ruler, quasi-Jesus redeemer, honored pirate of Sillycon Valley, and armed patents stakeholder, ending with a warning to thieving neighbors whose searches entail more than knowledge.

        Apparently.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      You are an idiot and I hate you! – me, 7/19/12

      – There, now you can worship someone while they’re alive 🙂

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      “…what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

      [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcjIestFVOc[/url<]

      • deathBOB
      • 7 years ago

      Looks like Steve nailed this one as well.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    This is the device and patent that got competing modern tablets which hardly resemble it banned. So silly.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      USPTO in riduculousness shocker, again.
      wake me up when the reform happens.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        It’s not just the USPTO that’s the problem, it’s courts being too unwilling to invalidate patents, or interpreting them too broadly.

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