Apple Tablet Computer Design Patent

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Many readers note that Apple was granted a US patent on "the ornamental design for an electronic device, substantially as shown and described". The US patent was filed on March 17th 2004 and posted today (May 10th, 2005).

Readers will recall that many of the same images were revealed in August 2004 (images).

The patent application images this time also depicts a person using the device as a tablet with touch screen. Little other information is offered on this potential design.

Of interest, this is not the first time Apple has worked on a tablet based computer. An early prototype Newton is pictured here (Messageslate) as well as a tablet-based PowerBook prototype is pictured here.
 

NoCleverSNForMe

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2003
186
79
Hmm...that's interesting.

What do you guys think of this? Will they target this towards both Mac+Win users? Are we going to see a combo of this device and the iPod? Is this one of those ideas that will never see the light of day?

You have more experience in this than me, so I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
Washington D.C
im try to get soem cash to buy a new ipod but when this comes out the im try to get one of these not sure(based on price) more or less the ibook or powerbook?
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
i would love a tablet mac, it would work much better than a laptop for me in several cases, now only if they would come out with one and make it somewhat affordable it would be awesome
 

Slipperyskates

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2004
23
0
I don't know...

I don't know how practical that would really be. I think it would be more of a novelty than anything else. Apple has always been about media, and I don't see people editing DV in FCP on a tablet- especially if the cost is signifigantly more than a standard notebook.
 

Thanatoast

macrumors 65816
Dec 3, 2002
1,005
134
Denver
What would it do better than an ibook or powerbook? It's got a smaller (right?)formfactor, so there are even more resrictions on it's capabilities than usual. And for the graphics professionals, since I am most definitely not one, do you draw on this thing? Or do you more manipulate already created images? Is a pen-based interface all that efficient? It must be easier to draw on paper than on a computer screen, right?
 

EJBasile

macrumors 65816
Apr 20, 2004
1,304
2
I'm guessing a PDA, a tablet, or a video iPod.

With the available option of buying videos on iTunes I think the chances of a video iPod are getting bigger.
 

crackrock

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2004
77
0
Cracktown, USA
Let the good times roll for LG-Phillips. I can imagine a lot of the LCDs will get cracked without the lid protecting it.

My iPod screen is scratched to hell, I can't even imagine how bad one of these would look after a year of regular usage.

Won't be getting one of these.
 

grizzlybrice

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2005
159
1
Playa Del Rey, CA
It'd be awesome if it will have similar functionality of a Wacom Cintique... I can only dream. It's Apple though... they make dreams come true... well, for the most part... (come on G5 powerbook!)

B
 

jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
I would die to own a tablet mac, I have really really wanted a tablet PC for school lately, but I also want to buy a new OS X laptop, so this would literally make me splooge!
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
crackrock said:
Let the good times roll for LG-Phillips. I can imagine a lot of the LCDs will get cracked without the lid protecting it.

My iPod screen is scratched to hell, I can't even imagine how bad one of these would look after a year of regular usage.

Won't be getting one of these.
actually, the pc based tablets that are around already have incredibly durable and long lasting screens, so i dont see that to be an issue

this does have some potential, lets hope that it comes to be though!
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
Based on the illustrations I saw, I have just one question: How in God's name did they get a patent on that? I've seen plenty of other computers (heck, I even own a Vadem Clio, which looks a hell of a lot like that) that use a design like that. Where's the innovative quality that makes this worthy of a patent?
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
1,253
0
lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
clayj said:
Based on the illustrations I saw, I have just one question: How in God's name did they get a patent on that? I've seen plenty of other computers (heck, I even own a Vadem Clio, which looks a hell of a lot like that) that use a design like that. Where's the innovative quality that makes this worthy of a patent?
You beat me to it. I mean it is not like the world hasn't heard of a tablet computer before.
 

tj53

macrumors member
Dec 10, 2004
46
0
New Hampshire
Why not?

If G5 powerbooks are far off, which they certainly are due to heat issues. (My PB Ti 1GHz gets damn hot with not even heavy usage. I can't imagine a G5 being reasonable.) Then it would be plausible for apple to develop a product like this to add to their portable line.

I use by PB at school and it is great, but would certainly love the ability to be able to write and draw directly on my screen. It is my no means new technology. Heck one photographer recently made his own out of an iBook. (forget the link, but I'm sure others have it)

I currently have to lug around a notebook along with my laptop in order to take down diagrams and the like. Not a huge issue after-all. But it would be awesome if Apple came out with a tablet laptop. I'd buy one, if the price was reasonable and I was able to get the money.
 

AnewMac

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2004
154
0
The Northern Plains of OK!
Did anyone see a keyboard?

This could be huge for Apple in the educational setting. With schools out of space, more schools (mine included) are going to wireless mobile labs. A class set of Apple tablets would be nice. This could be a huge emerging market.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
AnewMac said:
Did anyone see a keyboard?

This could be huge for Apple in the educational setting. With schools out of space, more schools (mine included) are going to wireless mobile labs. A class set of Apple tablets would be nice. This could be a huge emerging market.
the point of tablets is to Not have a keyboard, except for those stupid hybrid laptop/tablet ones, which i have heard some things about the screen connector breaking...
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
1,253
0
lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
I want one, but is it worthy of a patent?

Am I missing something here? It looks just like any generic tablet computer. Dont get me wrong, I would love to have one made by Apple, but I fail to see what is new from the pics. IMHO, an Apple tablet computer is long over due.
 

anubis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2003
937
50
I'd buy one as long as its feature set was reasonable. For example, I once tried using a Tablet PC, but the stylus-screen interface was magnetic instead of touch based. It made using it to jot notes in Microsoft Notes virtually impossible, as lifting the pen from the surface did not necessarily mean that the tablet registered the fact that you had lifted the pen.

Little things like that, that I would imagine Apple would address (as opposed to this HP piece of crap or whatever it was I tried). I'd buy one if it had a touch-based interface, quality handwriting recognition algorithms, preferrably running full Mac OS X (instead of some watered down OS, like Microsoft does with its Windows CE or whatever).