Some surprising pictures of a very, very early iPad prototype design surfaced yesterday, showing the first steps Apple took towards bringing the tablet to life. What the company came up with has the general look of the iPad that eventually arrived, but appears fantastically thick – far beyond what any of us would consider reasonable for a portable device. If you were hoping to get a better look at the prototype, or just more of a sense of how thick it really was in comparison to the finished product, you’re in luck, as some new imagery of the tablet has arrived.
This new set of prototype pics is a world of improvement over yesterday’s, finally in full color and actually comparing the tablet against a modern iPad 2. The addition of some rulers also helps give us a sense of scale; we can see the old prototype measured-in at just over three quarters of an inch thick.
With so much focus on hardware leaks from upcoming Apple models, it’s refreshing to occasionally take this kind of look into the company’s history, reminding us how things got to where they are now. We’d love to see even more intermediate tablet prototypes (there must have been a number of re-designs between 2004 and 2010 of which we’re currently unaware), but so far Apple’s been keeping those cards close to its chest.