Evidence of iPad Prototype from 2002 Brings Fresh Twist to Tale

Apple and Samsung’s court battle in the US took a fresh turn as pictures of a mock up iPad were presented in the court. What made matters more complicated was a testimony from Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive which confirmed that the maker of electronics was working on building a tablet called “035” since 2002 despite its co-founder Steve Jobs having denied any such innovation.

Way back in 2003, Jobs labelled tablets as “niche market” at an AllThingsD conference. He cited that tablets were for, “a bunch of rich guys who can afford their third computers.” In addition, he also told Walt Mossberg: “If you do email of any volume you’ve gotta have a keyboard. We looked at the [Microsoft] tablet and we think it’s gonna fail.” The audience would be too small, limited to the wealthy: “You know, they’ve got their desktop, they got a portable, and now they got one of these to read with, that’s your market.”

Though Jobs had criticised the existence of tablets, statement from Ive confirms that he had seen the iPad prototype somewhere around 2002-2004 in the Apple’s office. “My recollection of first seeing it is hazy, but it was, I’m guessing, some time between 2002 and 2004… I remember seeing this and perhaps models similar to this when we were first exploring tablet designs that ultimately became the iPad,” said Ive.

Evidence shown in the court revealed that Ive’s original design for iPad was a bulky one. It did not have a home button and Apple logo on the back, but it had the same rounded corners like that of the existing iPad.

All this was put forward by Samsung as evidence against a patent filed by Apple, where the company said that there should not be any restriction on the sales of Galaxy Tab in the US.

In a twisted tale of cases going on between the two companies, Samsung has now filed a case stating that Apple has no right to stop Samsung from making sales in the US because it is too small as a company. “Even when the entire family of Galaxy Tab tablets is considered collectively, Samsung only has a 15.4% share of Android tablets,” said Samsung in its defence. It further went on to say that, “This new evidence demonstrates that Samsung is not only ‘flooding the market’; it is actually losing market share to Apple and other manufacturers.”

At the court Samsung further went on to say that Apple had annulled one of its own patents related to iPad style design with the “Brain Box”. The product had a flat surface. Samsung also emphasized on the size difference of the 035 prototype and Galaxy Tab, to prove to the court their device is too different from the 035. Samsung also revealed that Apple started working on the design of the iPad and the tablet after Jobs saw Bill Gates launching the idea at Comdex 2000.

Nevertheless, the existence of 035 prototype has come as a shock to everyone, as this fact had remained a secret till today. As a matter of fact this revelation has indicated that big companies like to keep their upcoming projects as a secret never to be revealed. Probably this is also the reason that Steve Jobs had lied about Apple’s intention of producing a tablet.

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