Wednesday, June 27, 2012 , at 4:11 AM
The first iPhone was actually dreamed up in 1983.Naturally, this wasn’t anything like the rectangular cell phone we know today. It was a land line phone with, instead of a touch screen, a built in stylus controlled interface.
The phone was designed for Apple by Hartmut Esslinger, an influential designer who helped make the Apple IIc computer (Apple’s first “portable” computer) and later founded Frogdesign. The 1983 iPhone certainly fits in with Esslinger’s other designs for Apple. It also foreshadows the touchscreens of both the iPhone and iPad.
This iPhone isn’t the only prototype of Apple that never saw the light of day. Apple had toyed around with the iPad design for years before its launch. What’s interesting is that the 1983 iPhone device resembles an iPad with a phone, but iPads still lack this conventional phone call technology despite everything else they do. Perhaps the iPad appliance will enter that direction in its next iteration.