Not too long ago we got a chance to see a prototype of Apple’s iPad when it surfaced on eBay, but now we’ve got something even better: as part of their legal battle with Samsung, Apple has released a series of photographs showing an iPad mockup from circa 2002. Boy, have things changed!
Not only did this early iPad run on an Intel processor (it was rocking a Pentium M back when OS X was still firmly in PowerPC land), but it’s quite a visual departure, too. Besides being way, way thicker than even the original iPad, it looks like it follows the same design language as Apple’s other products from that time, which means that it’s made out of the same white polycarbonate as the iMac G4 and MacBook of yore. You’ll also notice that the iconic iOS home button is nowhere to be found.
Some things, on the other hand, haven’t changed at all – despite its chubbier appearance, Apple’s first draft of the iPad didn’t come equipped with the SD slots and USB ports that a very small (but extremely vocal) group of users like to talk about, and really isn’t all that different from the iPad we ended up with. Still, it’s pretty cool to get a chance to have a look at one of those obscure gadgets that never makes its way outside of Jonny Ive’s super-secret Cupertino bunker, right? Check out some shots of the prototype in the gallery below, or head over to Network World for more.