Pictures of early design concepts for the iPad made between 2002 and 2004 have been revealed through an Apple court filing
The pictures, published on Wednesday by Network World, show an early prototype design very similar to the final product Apple would eventually release in 2010. It features many of the signature elements of the iPad, including rounded corners, a dock connector port at the bottom, a front panel dominated by a glass touchscreen, and a plain back with just the Apple logo.
However, the early concept lacks the home button that is found on all iOS devices, and it also features a smaller black border on the outside of the screen. The concept device is also noticeably thicker than the first-generation iPad ended up being in 2010.
Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, was asked about images of the prototype in a deposition conducted in December of 2011.
Ive said he couldn't precisely remember the first time he had seen the prototype, but guessed that it was at some point between 2002 and 2004. He revealed that was when Apple was first exploring tablet designs that would eventually become the iPad.