One pleasant consequence of the seemingly never-ending string of lawsuit after lawsuit between smartphone companies is that some pretty interesting stuff can come to light that the public otherwise wouldn’t be privy to. Sometimes, that comes in the form of an executive’s testimony, giving us some new insight into old business decisions, but then there are cases like today’s where there’s some actual evidence to check out; in the course of all the proceedings between Apple and Samsung, Apple showed-off one very early prototype of what we now know as the iPad.
When we say “early”, we mean it, because while the first iPad debuted in 2010, this tablet dates back to sometime around 2002-2004. While it’s a pretty basic stab at the iPad hardware with which we’re now familiar, there are definitely some elements here that made it through to the finished product, including that docking port on the bottom edge.
More than anything, we’re struck by how very thick this model is. There are probably numerous reasons for that; maybe Apple based it around off-the-shelf hardware rather than using too many custom boards at that early stage of development. Suffice it to say, we’re quite glad Apple kept chipping away at its design over the years, rather than rush something that looked like this to market.