comscore Earliest known iPad prototype was gigantic, thick and plasticky
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Earliest known iPad prototype was gigantic, thick and plasticky

Apart from the dramatic entertainment that patent infringement lawsuits between Samsung and Apple provide, they often also give us rare insights into how things work at Apple. The latest one is a glim

Apart from the dramatic entertainment that patent infringement lawsuits between Samsung and Apple provide, they often also give us rare insights into how things work at Apple. The latest one is a glimpse into the original iPad prototype Apple had created some time between 2002 and 2004; an era when tablets meant something a doctor would prescribe than an electronic gadget to play Angry Birds among other things! Apple’s design guru, Jonathan Ive’s deposition before a judge hearing the case where Apple alleges Samsung copied the design of its iPad, revealed for the first time what the original iPad looked like when the late Steve Jobs first thought about such a device. Also Read - Apple demands $1 billion from Samsung for patent infringement

Photographs from court filings reveal that the original prototype was almost an inch thick and had a much larger footprint than the current iPad. While we do not know the exact specifications, merely judging by its sheer size it would have been much heavier than the current iPad. It also had a glossy plastic back resembling the iBook of that era. Having said that, the face of the prototype does not look much different from the current iPad, barring the absence of a home button. Also Read - Apple wins $120 million in 'slide-to-unlock' patent case against Samsung

Ive did could not recall the exact period when this prototype was produced and mentioned it would have been some time between 2002 and 2004. Jobs had publicly stated that Apple had been working on the iPad much before it started working on the iPhone. Apple had tried its hands on a phone by partnering with Motorola’s ROKR or the iTunes phone that was announced in September 2005. The phone was a failure and made Jobs confident that the only way Apple could be successful in the phone business was if it made one of its own. Also Read - Damning report reveals Samsung's history of stealing and why Apple has already lost

In a way, the iPhone was an after thought and borrowed most of the things Apple had explored during its quest to make a tablet. The tablet had an all-touch user interface with rubber band scrolling and multi-touch, both of which turned out to be the first-generation iPhone’s killer feature. It was only after the iPhone proved to be a runaway success that Apple launched the iPad in 2010. As they say, rest is history.

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  • Published Date: July 19, 2012 5:42 AM IST



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