Salvador Rodriguez July 19, 2012
Images of what may be the earliest iPad prototype that was ever built emerged online on Wednesday. Photo: Network World
Photos of what is believed to be the earliest prototype of the Apple iPad were posted online on Wednesday.
The images show a significantly thicker device with traces of Apple's design style from the early 2000s while also undeniably resembling the ultimate product the company would end up releasing in 2010.
The images, which can all be viewed here, were posted online by Network World, which dug through Apple and Samsung court filings to discover the prototype, which was named the 035 mockup.
Jonathan Ive, Apple's vice president of industrial design, talked about the 035 in some of the filings, according to Network World. Ive said he worked on the device, and that while he wasn't sure when he first saw it, he pinpointed the prototype's origins to somewhere between 2002 and 2004.
So the images show an Apple tablet prototype from possibly eight years before the first iPad was released. The lengthy delay between the 035 and the first iPad isn't too surprising, though. The late Steve Jobs said Apple began developing a tablet before deciding to use the technology it'd be working on and applying it to a phone first, which, of course, led to the iPhone in 2007.
The 035 shows a front display that besides lacking a home button looks very much the same as that of the most current iPads. It's back, though, is more reminiscent of Apple's iBook G4 laptops from the early 2000s. It also resembles the current white MacBooks.
Though there don't appear to be any cameras on the 035, the tablet does have a connector dock, headphone jack and, of course, the Apple logo on its back.
Earlier this year, a more modern iPad prototype was also discovered and sold on eBay for more than $US10,000.