First iPad Prototype Surfaces, Wasn’t Thin And Had No Physical Buttons [IMAGES]

Steve Jobs had admitted on an AllThingsD interview, that they were actually working on a tablet device before starting designing the iPhone. The iPhone too was in development for over two years, before it was finally announced at MacWorld 2007.

The iPad, apparently started off as a bulky touch device and did not have a physical home button. This was way back in 2002-2004 though, so it must’ve been cool back then. NetworkWorld recovered a deposition of Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design, Sir. Jonathan Ive from December 2011. Digging through them, they came across early 2000 prototypes of Apple’s iPad or ‘035 mockup‘, as it was known back then.

First iPad Prototype Surfaces

In the deposition, Ive was shown photos of the early prototype and asked if he had seen it before. In response, he stated the following;

My recollection of first seeing it is very hazy, but it was, I’m guessing, sometime between 2002 and 2004, some but it was I remember seeing this and perhaps models similar to this when we were first exploring tablet designs that ultimately became the iPad.

Now, that clearly proves that Apple’s work on creating a tablet, the iPad, started as early as 2002, eight years before the announcement of the device. Check out more pictures of the early iPad prototype below.

First iPad Prototype Surfaces

First iPad Prototype Surfaces

First iPad Prototype Surfaces

First iPad Prototype Surfaces

Apple obviously chose not to go with this design, which was a really good thing, because the prototype looks heavy and nobody likes a heavy, thick tablet. Also, there is no home button! Besides, it looks like a fat iPod Classic, good thing Steve Jobs decided to call quits on this one! This is the earliest photos of an iPad prototype that you may ever see. Would you have enjoyed such an iPad? Let us know in the comments section.

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  • Michael Schnier

    I think that powerbook-tablet look is charming. I wonder if Mophie can make this into a 72-hour battery pack. :)

  • SharpndPensel

    Well, it looks thick now.  But if that came out as a tablet in 2004…

  • Justin Gurinskas

    Looks to be constructed using spare parts lying around the design shop, seems to be about the dimensions of an early MacBook, or even an iBook G4

  • Noy Kedem

    These pictures make it look like it was from the 1950s, what’s up with the black and white blurry pictures? Overall though it’s nice to know they took their time developing something much better with the years.

  • Chris Andes