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Old Jul 17, 2007, 11:10 PM   #1
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Apple's First Phone Designs



The son of Hartmut Esslinger, a designer for Apple in the early 80s posted a collection of never before published images of Apple Designs from the early 80s including several Apple phone designs.





This design resembles Apple's Apple //c design.

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Old Jul 17, 2007, 11:12 PM   #2
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it makes me want apple to incorporate phone capabilities in all macs. just plug in a phone line (in addition to support for voip) and dial away.
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Old Jul 17, 2007, 11:27 PM   #3
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Siemens made a Newton phone, btw

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Old Jul 17, 2007, 11:34 PM   #4
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Siemens made a Newton phone, btw

arn
Looks like one of those pda cell phone padfolios that you can fold up and put in your briefcase.
Cute
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Old Jul 17, 2007, 11:52 PM   #5
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some cool looking stuff. Interesting to see. Jobs was at apple then. In the images, I saw the apple phone, and a cube computer design. Both which jobs revisited upon returning. I wonder how much of that stuff is representative of Steve Jobs, and if any of that is still floating around in his head for product ideas.

I assume that triangle thing was a mouse, it actually looked pretty comfortable in the hand for being so angular.
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 12:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Macrumors View Post

"I know that hand. It was in the fall 1973 Bulova watch catalog." - Derrick Zoolander


Interesting stuff, I wonder if the bill collectors would still charge a fee for check by phone. This also brought back to mind the AT&T video phones, what ever happened to them?
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 01:11 AM   #7
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Wow some of these are so cool! This Macintosh design almost looks like an iMac.

Plus I'm sure this would of ended up worse than the puck-mouse, hehe Great story!
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 01:38 AM   #8
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Wow some of these are so cool! This Macintosh design almost looks like an iMac.

Plus I'm sure this would of ended up worse than the puck-mouse, hehe Great story!
Heck, that thing still looks better than a lot of PC's being sold. I'd buy it.
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 02:14 AM   #9
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The son of Hartmut Esslinger, a designer for Apple in the early 80s posted a collection of never before published images of Apple Designs from the early 80s including several Apple phone designs.
Perhaps it was because of the breakup of AT&T in the early 1980's, but it seems everyone was working on phones. As evidenced by this...

http://www.atarimuseum.com/ataritel/index.html

Atari actually had some good industrial design back in the day. Too bad they got caught up in the price war with Commodore.
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 05:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by nostaws
In the images, I saw the apple phone, and a cube computer design. Both which jobs revisited upon returning. I wonder how much of that stuff is representative of Steve Jobs, and if any of that is still floating around in his head for product ideas.
Well I think the Cube was probably derived from his NeXT origins, personally. Plus it would appear he's always been/still is fascinated with cube designs (NeXTCube, G4 Cube, Fifth Avenue Apple Store). But I, too, have always wondered if he trawled through Apple's past when he returned in '97.

I mean, it's quite amazing how a lot of those designs reflect current and recent Apple products. As LimeiBook86 pointed out, this looks like the G3 iMac.. This looks like the iBook/MacBook, or then-future Apple laptops. Leopard's Stacks dates from around 1994, and I'm sure there are a many more unutilized prototypes/ideas that have since been implemented that we don't know about. And if the naming on the images is accurate, it would seem certain names even came from that foregone era as well.

Interesting stuff, indeed.
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 05:36 AM   #11
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Lightbulb Forgot the Apple Paladin

Apple actually shipped 20 or so (for beta testing) of the The Paladin which was a Phone/Fax/Computer/Scanner/Copier/Printer. It was based on the PowerBook Duo. I owned one in 2002 and sold it a few months later on eBay. I'm surprised this was left out of the mix. Good article though.



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Old Jul 18, 2007, 05:46 AM   #12
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I'm surprised this was left out of the mix.
The images linked in the OP are from frog design. That project was from after their relationship with Apple had fallen apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lixivial View Post
Well I think the Cube was probably derived from his NeXT origins, personally.
Kinda sorta. frog did the cube, so there is a relationship of a kind to the sketches and mockups seen here.

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Old Jul 18, 2007, 07:59 AM   #13
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"I know that hand. It was in the fall 1973 Bulova watch catalog." - Derrick Zoolander


Interesting stuff, I wonder if the bill collectors would still charge a fee for check by phone. This also brought back to mind the AT&T video phones, what ever happened to them?
http://www.ojophone.com/homepage
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 10:01 AM   #14
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site down

the poor site is down for the additional pics. Here is the google cache:

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...&client=safari
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 02:28 AM   #15
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Seems to me like pictures from Apple Design book, so not "unpublished". But i must check at home.
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 07:32 AM   #16
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Heck, that thing still looks better than a lot of PC's being sold. I'd buy it.
haha so true, i would definently buy that thing. throw away my crappy landline fone!
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 11:36 AM   #17
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Many of these (all? I'd have to take a look) were published in Paul Kunkel's excellent coffee-table book AppleDesign. Good luck finding a copy.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 11:35 PM   #18
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This is so awesome. Awesome find.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 07:43 AM   #19
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So where is Apple and their home phone now? We need one.

Verizon has stepped in with their new Hub using VOIP, with 800x480 touchscreen and neat little widgets for family use:



I think this will be a year of home convergence. I have an HP Touchsmart in the kitchen, which is used by everyone for surfing, weather reports, TV Guide, notes and especially video Skyping. It can DVR too, with a cable attached. Also has voice control. It just needs a landline phone connection as well.

Nokia's been working for years on integrating smartphones with home entertainment systems and so forth.

Should be fun. Can't wait. Apple needs to be in this arena, and not just with Apple TV.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 10:48 AM   #20
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So star trek looking... Love them all
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 10:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siurpeeman View Post
it makes me want apple to incorporate phone capabilities in all macs. just plug in a phone line (in addition to support for voip) and dial away.
you mean like a 56k modem.....??
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 11:10 AM   #22
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it makes me want apple to incorporate phone capabilities in all macs. just plug in a phone line (in addition to support for voip) and dial away.
Dude what are you talking about. You want to use you mac as a telephone (PSDN). That is a step backward. How about Skype, google talk, or the many other VOIP services out there. There are way too many to name.
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 01:26 PM   #23
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I'm loving the retro looking images. Ah, wish I was born in the 70's

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Old Feb 5, 2009, 01:47 PM   #24
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It would be interesting to see the impact that these earlier Apple phones would have had on Apple's entry to the cell phone market.
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 06:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPyre View Post
"I know that hand. It was in the fall 1973 Bulova watch catalog." - Derrick Zoolander
That made me laugh!
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