updated 03:40 pm EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
Pre-iPhone designs show thick backs, small bezels
Documents from a December deposition of Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, show images of the earliest iPad prototypes, NetworkWorld notes. During one point in the videotaped Q&A session, Ive is shown images of a device referred to as the "035" mockup/prototype. "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," he says when asked if he's seen the mockup before.
The images depict a tablet much thicker than even the first-generation iPad, and with a thinner bezel. The back also appears to be plastic, and there is no sign of the Home button now standard on iOS devices.
Ive's statement dates early development of the iPad to at least 2002. Apple is known to have started working on the project before the iPhone; co-founder Steve Jobs mentioned the fact during an All Things Digital conference. The company halted work on the iPad to focus on the iPhone, which it considered more important at the time. The latter ultimately proved extremely influential in the iPad's design.