Apple's First Phone Designs

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
    [​IMG]

    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.


    [​IMG]


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

    Article Link
     
  2. macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #2
    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.
     
  3. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #3
    [​IMG]

    Siemens made a Newton phone, btw

    arn
     
  4. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #4
    Looks like one of those pda cell phone padfolios that you can fold up and put in your briefcase.
    Cute
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

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    #6
    "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?
     
  7. macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #7
    Wow some of these are so cool! :D 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!
     
  8. macrumors regular

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    #8
    Heck, that thing still looks better than a lot of PC's being sold. I'd buy it.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Lixivial

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    fixyourthinking

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    #11
    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.



    [​IMG]
     
  12. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #12
    The images linked in the OP are from frog design. That project was from after their relationship with Apple had fallen apart.

    Kinda sorta. frog did the cube, so there is a relationship of a kind to the sketches and mockups seen here.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

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    #13
    http://www.ojophone.com/homepage
     
  14. macrumors newbie

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  15. macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Seems to me like pictures from Apple Design book, so not "unpublished". But i must check at home.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    haha so true, i would definently buy that thing. throw away my crappy landline fone!
     
  17. macrumors newbie

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    branjosef

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    #18
    This is so awesome. Awesome find.
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #19
    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    branjosef

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    #20
    So star trek looking... Love them all
     
  21. macrumors 65832

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    #21
    you mean like a 56k modem.....??
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    WPB2

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #23
    I'm loving the retro looking images. Ah, wish I was born in the 70's :)

    -M
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    chr1s60

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    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    betaboy78

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    #25
    That made me laugh!
     

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