In the 2010 All Things D conference, Steve Jobs had revealed that though the iPhone had released in 2007 – a good 3 years before the iPad got launched – Apple had first worked on a tablet. The idea of using a similar interface in a smaller phone screen came about later, first with the failed collaboration with Motorola for the ROKR phone, and later for its own iPhone.
Now, partial sections of Jonathan Ive’s deposition during the iPad design infringement battles against Samsung have been released. Apple’s design head was eventually shown images of what was dubbed to be the ‘035 mockup’, and asked if and when he had seen them. His claim was that it could’ve been anywhere between 2002 and 2004, thereby revealing that the iPad’s development process had been well under way in the early 2000s.
“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,” said Ive.
The 035 prototype is significantly different from the 889 prototype, that is, the final Apple iPad that got released. While both feature Apple’s customary minimalistic design, the former is noticeably thicker than the latter, and a great deal wider too. Moreover, the former lacks any form a home button – something that Apple had been long expected to do in the new iPad, but eventually skipped out on.
While it hardly matters right now, the leaked photos provide an interesting insight into the way Apple’s bestseller evolved from its early stages to the sleek gadget that it turned out to be eventually.