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  • Blast from the past: 10 amazing Apple designs that never were

Blast from the past: 10 amazing Apple designs that never were

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Even today, this wouldn't look half bad!

Even today, this wouldn't look half bad!

Founded on April 1, 1976 by the Steves, Jobs and Wozniak, Apple's incredibly-rich history spans nearly 4 decades now. And while most of us associate the Cupertino-based company with its newer generation of products -- the iPad, the iPhone, the Macbook and Mac Pro -- it's important to remember that these are hardly exhaustive of Apple's design history.

Most of you have seen the Apple II, and the Lisa, though. What you probably haven't seen, however, are the hundreds of prototype illustrations that never actually made it to the market for one reason or another. That's exactly the topic of acclaimed designer and founder of Frog Design, Hartmut Esslinger's book, Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple (available here).

A little over a decade after founding his now renowned design agency in 1969, Esslinger had already worked for big names like Louis Vuitton, but it wasn't until 1982 that his firm was approached by Apple. The then growing company wanted to make a break from its start-up status and transition into a global brand, so it agreed to pay Esslinger and co. $2 million a year to create a design strategy that would see to it. The outcome of that partnership was the "Snow White" design language, which went on to characterize Apple's products from 1984 to early 1990. During that time, as you can imagine, the collaboration produced quite a few concepts, most of which are still little known to the general public. 

You'll be wanting to check them out.

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posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:02 13

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Dat plastic. In the past everything was made out of that same plastic lol

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:22 1

7. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Yeah, it seems like there was one way to make plastic back then haha my old computer had that plastic... good memory!!

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 18:14 1

18. jtech (Posts: 101; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)

It was an easier time, it was a simpler time. They were good times

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:05 9

2. FingerMyApple (unregistered)

The logo should have been bigger to gain my attention :)

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:05 1

3. chocowii (Posts: 470; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

More reasons to love my current laptop design.
Hate those blocky and cornery designs.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:06 5

4. enthasuium (Posts: 138; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)

looks better than current apple design.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 13:17 3

16. iMemo (Posts: 113; Member since: 22 Feb 2014)

Like seriously... That is just dumb trolling.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 20:44

21. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)

I agree

That flip phone reminds me of Motorola Tac2 StarTac

Apple designs were more streamlined before, know they look kinda ugly with curvy looking

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:17 1

5. dorian827 (Posts: 160; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)

That poo plastic almost made me vomit, yuck.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:19 3

6. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

Based on those CLUNKY CHUNKY designs, i'M shocked that the iPhone ever got that iGreenlight. And, talk about design stealing, that clamshell phone looks just like that Motorola Timeport clamshell Sprint sent me for free back in 2000/2001 (didn't help - service was, is and always WILL be crappy). Anyway, congrats Apple on sticking to your slim and white look.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 16:15 2

17. stealthd (unregistered)

So. . . you think Apple used a time machine to steal a design from 2000/2001 and take it back to the 80's, and then never release it?

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:23

8. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

Is #4 actually headphones? Looks more like power adapter plugs or printer cables to me.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:50

9. engineer-1701d (unregistered)

hahaha i think it is power cable i remember something like that, and the so called tablet what they mean to say is word processor hahaha it must be a younger person doing this article,

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 18:41

22. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3822; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

You either didn't read the caption or your reading comprehension is abysmal.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 08:59 3

10. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

#1 looks like a plastic Chinese clone of a Motorola RAZR.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 09:47

11. Smokin (Posts: 120; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)

#3 is that a watch? ._.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 11:51 7

12. kzat82 (Posts: 27; Member since: 26 Dec 2013)

None of these were really "amazing" as the title suggested.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 12:12

13. livyatan (Posts: 867; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


posted on 06 Jun 2014, 12:33 1

15. steedsofwar (unregistered)

That would be Fanboyean slip on behalf of the author.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 12:32

14. steedsofwar (unregistered)

I think we are all glad these products never made it into production.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 19:48

19. gregoryyy3 (unregistered)

Because apple releasing these products has such an impact on all of us? Lol

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 19:52

20. steedsofwar (unregistered)

Nope. Because they're pretty rubbish. Period.

Nothing to do with whether it were apple or any other manufacturer. They were obviously not production material. Don't try to read too much into that buddy.

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