Jony Ive Deposition Reveals Very Early iPad Prototype From Around 2002

Jony Ive Deposition Reveals Very Early iPad Prototype From Around 2002

This early iPad prototype looks a lot like a MacBook with a touchscreen.

Apple’s iPad, with its sleek aluminum casing, large 9.7-inch display, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful tablets currently available. But there was a time when it was as thick as a cheap Dell notebook and made from tacky white plastic — as these images of an early iPad prototype prove.

Jony Ive Deposition Reveals Very Early iPad Prototype From Around 2002

The images are part of Jony Ive’s deposition from an ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung. According to Ive, they’re from a prototype iPad taken sometime between 2002 and 2004.

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

To me, it looks a lot like the bottom casing of an old white MacBook, with a touchscreen placed on top. In actual fact, apart from its thickness, it’s not too dissimilar to the iPad we have today — even the dock connector sits in the same place at the bottom of the device.

Jony Ive Deposition Reveals Very Early iPad Prototype From Around 2002

Obviously Apple had to make it a lot thicker back then, because of the state of technology at the time. It also looks as though the home button hadn’t yet been invented.

It would be interesting to see what kind of specifications this prototype has — if indeed it was a working unit, and not just a design model.

MacRumors notes that one of the images included in Ive’s deposition (below) is almost identical to an illustration that features in one of Apple’s iPad patents.

Jony Ive Deposition Reveals Very Early iPad Prototype From Around 2002

  • Jonathan Dale Swindle

    That bad boy is THIIIICK!

  • Jeff McCann

    Are those proprietary, Apple designed Dixie cups?

  • Tom Locke ?

    “Apple have no plans to make a tablet. It turns out people want keyboards…We look at the tablet and think it is going to fail.” – Steve Jobs, 2003

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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