"I’ll tell you a secret. It began with the tablet. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on with your fingers. I asked our people about it. And six months later, they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He got [rubber band] 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."-Steve Jobs, 2010
If there is one good thing about the Apple-Samsung dust up, it is the possibility to see history in the making. As both sides turn over documents pertaining to the patent wars, Apple has revealed pictures of an Apple tablet that was made in the early 2000s. Apple's Jonathan Ive dates the prototype as being from 2002-2004 pre-dating the current version of the Apple iPad by quite a few years. The late Steve Jobs had told an audience back in 2010 that it was a tablet that led to the development of the Apple iPhone. The interesting thing about the design of the tablet is the edge to edge screen and the lack of a physical home button. Note the thickness of the device.
The idea to build the Apple iPhone is said to have come after Steve Jobs' unhappiness with the Motorola ROKR. This was a phone that Motorola produced in cooperation with Apple which was launched in September 2005. Jobs called the device the "iTunes phone" as it was considered at Cupertino to be part iPod and part phone. In a bit of a put down, he said owning the ROKR was like having an "iPod shuffle right on your phone." Viewing the introduction of the ROKR in the video below, you can see some problems it had returning to music from a phone call at about the 3:39 mark.
Moving back to the tablet prototype, Ive's deposition refers to the tablet seen in the photos as the 035 mockup. Apple is trying to assert its '889 patent against Samsung, This is the patent that covers the design and technology of the modern day Apple iPad and was referenced by Apple in the letter sent by the company's attorneys to retailers in a bid to get them to stop selling the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 tablet and the Samsung GALAXY Nexus.
Sounds like the boys in Cupertino are trying to date when the iPad concept was first reduced to practice.... It will be interesting to see how they wiggle around the work that Palm was doing in the mid-90s.
It is pretty well settled that Apple does not own multi-touch. Even with a requirement to use a stylus, the essential design and functionality of a tablet was in place by 2000. Apple implemented packaging and marketing, but doing something in a smaller footprint is not necessarily patentable, in and of itself.
Users were able to use their fingers with Palm devices. A selection was made when any object pressed two layers on the screen together. Pretty low tech by today's standards, but it meant users did not have to use a stylus.
That's true for the iPhone and every other smartphone available now, including my Motorola Droid Razr. But none of the devices we carry now would be here if not for the tech developed by Nokia and Palm. These companies were the pioneers of touchscreen smartphones. Apple took the next next step in the evolution of touchscreens and the smartphone, but we can't forget the contributions of these other OEMs.
The real 'actual' date of this apple evidence would be interesting to find out,especially as the so called early prototype looks better than the current iPad design except for the thickness factor. All that aside,the android tablets are totally different from the iPad so this evidence attempt by apple is more desperation. Many companys have theorised and attempted tablet devices years ago but never actually released on,apple seems to rather conveniently have detailed evidence of their early attempts. Many manufacturers have actually released to market as well as produce prototypes of touch screen phones before the first iPhone,how can apple claim companies are also copying that?! Its almost so ridiculous its funny!
Yes the iPad was the first,but that was because as much as other manufacturers made tablets prototypes they never released them themselves as they were unsure of the need of the device for people and thus the actually ability of sales as it was a new market. Apple launched theirs first as no matter how the device was they knew that they were guaranteed sales volumes from the army of ifans out their foaming at the mouth ready to buy any new idevice no matter what it was,revelant and needed or not,
Tablets were on the market way prior to the iPad. The existence of those prior examples of the tablet form and function create a problem for Apple as regards prior art. The iPad is just another take on the tablet form/function factor. Same for Android tablets.
42.remixfa(Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
quite a bit of tablets were on the market before the ipad.
they were a different kind of tablet though. they were touch screen PCs.
MS tried to take a PC and squish it into a phone/tablet long before the hardware could perform well enough.
Apple's only real change was to take a very basic mobile OS and try to pretend it was "PC like".
did it change things? Sure, it did. Tablets would still be here with or without Apple though. The only difference is they would just now be getting useful since hardware has finally cought up to full PC style horsepower. That and instead of your whole "ipad market" BS, you would be saying "android tablet market" BS instead as android would have entered the space regardless of who else was there.
44.taco50(banned)(Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
There was on tablet market before the iPad. Sure there were tablets that no one bought. No one bought them because they were poorly designed. Apple was smart enought to realize you have to create a pleasant experience for people to buy it. You can't just slap a PC OS on a tablet and think it will work.
Android OEM's didn't have the guts to create a tablet so they waited on Apple and once they saw Apple's success they followed their lead.
Another problem with the whole prior art thang. Especially from a design perspective. The tablet shown in Kubrick's Space Odyssey is close enough in design that I am waiting for Sammy's attorneys to bring that up as prior art.