Thanks to the legal fisticuffs between Apple and Samsung this past summer, we got to check out some really interesting imagery of Apple prototype designs, as entered into evidence. Those included some bizarre-looking takes on the now-iconic iPhone and iPad, dating back over the course of the past decade. Now we get to roll back the clock just a little more, and thanks to the upcoming release of a new design book we can get a look at some tablet designs from Apple’s early days.
Hartmut Esslinger heads up Frogdesign, the firm responsible for the “Snow White” design Apple used on many products in the mid-to-late 80s. Esslinger’s new book doesn’t come out for another few weeks, but an advance copy Designboom got its hands on manages to give us a glimpse at what an Apple tablet from that era might have looked like.
The “MacPhone” from 1984 marries a tablet with a corded telephone (understandable, with cellular phones still in their infancy) and even features a tethered stylus, something that would be a huge Apple no-no nowadays. The “tablet Mac” of a couple years earlier doesn’t quite look as Apple-y, though it would fit in well with some old Apple IIs.
If you’re a big Apple fan, you’ll want to check out the rest of the images, too, depicting a whole array of Apple concept computer designs that just never came to pass.