Prototype of turn of the century Apple iPad spotted in court filings

Prototype of turn of the century Apple iPad spotted in court filings
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.

Prototype of turn of the century Apple iPad spotted in court filings
Prototype of turn of the century Apple iPad spotted in court filings
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.

source:  NetworkWorld via TechCrunch

Mockup of an Apple tablet from 2002-2004
Mockup of an Apple tablet from 2002-2004

Mockup of an Apple tablet from 2002-2004



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49 Comments

1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

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.

3. xtian1103

Posts: 364; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

it would also be interesting to see if palm has this kind of prototype way back in the mid 90's. photos or it never happened

6. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If Palm filed patent applications on any of their work, photos won't be necessary. Just need to be able to work the search engines.

4. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

you could not use your fingers with the Palm.. the ipad was design for that

9. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

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.

11. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

All they did was packaging and marketing huh? I guess it had nothing to do with rewriting software to be touch friendly with no stylus.

20. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Are you claiming Apple invented multi-touch?

25. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Where in my comment did you read I said Apple invented multi touch?

33. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"...touch friendly with no stylus."

47. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

And you interpreted that as invented multi touch?

17. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

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.

21. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Yes, but iOS is light years ahead of what palm had at that time. And palm phones did come with a stylus.

32. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

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.

34. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Doesn't matter. The concept of touch-based UI was out of the bag and prior art dates from that point. Which is way before Apple came on the scene with their iterations.

41. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1770; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You know light years is distance not time so your analogy is false

38. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

and the microsoft tablet that was OUT by that time, and a dozen others.

45. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

what were the dozen other tablets?

2. ohiwastedmylife

Posts: 17; Member since: Jul 04, 2012

That OG iPad has less bezel than the modern one?

5. MEeee

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

The photos look like in the 1930s.

7. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

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!

12. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

How many android tablets were on the market prior to the iPad?

16. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

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,

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Actually no. A lot of people thought no one would buy tablets. Apple had the guts to take a huge risk and launch one. Once android OEM's saw Apple's succes they copied as they always do.

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

That doesn't give Apple the right to a sales ban.

26. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Again where did I say something about banning? You're having arguments in your head I'm not making.

35. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

You are the biggest advocate for Apple getting sales bans on this forum. Just because you may not have advocated for a sales ban in this thread does not excuse your prior or future actions.

43. Lift_Off

Posts: 152; Member since: Apr 04, 2012

hahahahaha!

48. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I remember trying out an Archos tablet at a RadioShack before the iPad was ever introduced...so the iPad was not first. Don't forget Windows tablets either.

23. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

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: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

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