Legal documents from one of many court battles between Apple and Samsung have revealed early images of a product that would eventually become the iPad. The photos show a device internally known as 035 that reportedly date back to between 2002 and 2004, several years before Apple launched the iPad.
Apple designer Jonathan Ive told the court that his recollection of the device is very hazy but he figured his first encounter happened sometime between 2002 and 2004. He noted seeing the model shown in the photos here as well as a few other designs although he couldn’t remember which shop created this specific prototype.
As you can see in the photos, the general shape and idea of the iPad are roughly the same as today’s production units but thickness and weight have no doubt been reduced heavily. In fact, Anand Shimpi from Anandtech tweeted earlier today that the first iPad prototype used a Pentium M processor. One could only imagine the amount of heat it put off and how low battery life must have been.
If you recall, it was the iPad that actually led to the development of the iPhone. During the 2010 All Things D conference, Steve Jobs said he had an idea for a glass multitouch display for a tablet. Six months later, his design team produced a prototype at which point he realized it would work perfectly for a phone. Apple shelved the tablet idea and got to work on the iPhone instead.