The earliest known prototype of what would become the iPad have been revealed.
The early documentation of the experimental device was revealed thanks to the long-running a court battle between Apple and Samsung.
In December 2011 Apple VP of design Jony Ive was deposed by Samsung. During the deposition, he was shown a series of photos of a 2002-2004 mock up of what appears to be a large, thick iPad prototype.
" target="_hplink">Network World reports that Ive said:
"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."
The prototype was in development several years before Apple even released the iPhone. Steve Jobs previously said that Apple worked on the iPad first, but wasn't able to hone the product for release until 2010.
Still, the early device is remarkably similar to the iPad that was eventually released, and includes the same rounded corners and even an Apple logo on the back.
While it lacks a home button it does include a space for a 30-pin dock connector - and one of the photos is also similar to an illustration included in Apple's eventual patent for a large-scale touchscreen device.