Mobile

Early iPad prototype revealed in court documents (photos)

ipad-proto-2
If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you’re likely losing them to someone else. Register now for the 8th annual MobileBeat, July 13-14, where the best and brightest will be exploring the latest strategies and tactics in the mobile space.

Photos of the earliest known iPad prototype from the early 2000s have hit the web, thanks to some digging by the fine folks at NetworkWorld.

The photos, which have been lifted from Apple and Samsung court documents, show a bulky device that takes design elements from earlier Apple hardware, including the first iPod and the MacBook. The device has similarities to the first publicly released iPad: It has a single port at the bottom, a headphone jack, and a black bezel around the screen. Noticeably different is how thick the prototype is and how it’s missing the iPad’s circular home button.

In a deposition by Samsung, Apple Senior VP Jonathan Ive said the following about this prototype:

My recollection of first seeing it is very hazy, but it was, I’m guessing, sometime between 2002 and 2004. … I remember seeing this and perhaps models similar to this when we were first exploring tablet designs that ultimately became the iPad.

Personally, I can’t imagine this device “making a dent in the universe” like the first iPad did. It appears to be quite heavy, and the specs were likely poor.

Take a look at the photos below and let us know what you think of it:

[vb_gallery id=493294]


VB's research team is studying mobile user acquisition... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.