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Check out these pics of an iPad prototype Apple designed a decade ago

The designs of Jony Ive and Apple have a way of cementing themselves in the minds of Apple fans as the only right and true way to do electronics. But don’t you ever wonder how Apple got there? The iPhone and iPad didn’t just pop into existence, and just like any creative endeavor, the team that designed the devices went through mockups and revisions before landing at the versions that we hold in our hands today… And today we’re getting a look at one of those mockups—specifically, an iPad prototype said to be from the early 2000s. It’s called the 035 mockup, and a recent interview with Jony Ive gave some insight into how it came about and why it was scrapped.

Looking at the photo above in comparison with the tablet we know and love, there’s no question that Apple got it right by choosing not to move forward with the 035 mockup. But think back to around 2002-2004 when we hardly had any concept of a tablet—would we have reacted so aversely back then? Steve Jobs did, apparently, saying the device was too heavy, too sluggish, and too much of a power hog. As we learned in an All Things D conference back in 2010, Apple started their mobile push with tablet prototypes probably not unlike what we see here, but then shifted to working on the iPhone once things started rolling with the multitouch display.

Well, now that we have our shiny aluminum cases and Retina Displays, it’s pretty clear that the right call was made regarding the 035 mockup (and any other prototypes that might have surfaced before 2010). I guess this case of good decision making gets accredited to the late Steve Jobs—and this probably won’t be the last time.

 

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