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Apr 12, 2001
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esslinger.jpg
Designboom
(via The Verge) today got a hold of some photographs of early Apple computer designs from Hartmut Esslinger's new book, Design Forward.

Esslinger founded Frog Design, the company that Apple partnered with in the 1980s and '90s to come up with a design strategy. Frog Design was responsible for the Apple IIc, which led to the "Snow White" design language that persisted in Apple products through 1990.

This was the stylization that originally included off-white or platinum coloration, vertical and horizontal stripes for decoration, and a three-dimensional logo inlaid into the product case.

Frog Design also worked on several other prospective Apple products, which were never manufactured, including a telephone/tablet hybrid deemed the "Macphone," a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac," and a set of tall, space-aged computers called "Macintosh Studies."

macphone1.jpg
Macphone​

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Baby Mac​

macintoshstudies1.jpg
Macintosh Studies​
Designboom has a full range of pictures of 10 different conceptual product designs available, along with a few excerpts of text from the book.

Design Forward, Esslinger's Book will be released on January 16, 2013.

Article Link: Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book
 

Drunken Master

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2011
1,060
0
Awesome!

I had seen photos of the Baby Mac before, but not the others.

The first iMac's face looks a lot like a colored, pinstriped version of the Baby Mac's face. That thing looks so cool.

A lot like the Dieter Rams Atelier TV set for Bruan.

babymac-293_0.jpg


Screen%20Shot%202012-12-28%20at%2011.18.58%20PM.png
 
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Attonine

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2006
733
53
Kent. UK
It's interesting to see that many ideas were present a long time ago. A phone, tablet, a small mac. Ideas that took up to another 20 years to become products. Really shows how definite Steve Jobs was in his ideas of what technology should be doing. It will be interesting in another 20 years to have a similar look at products Apple is working on now, are they still as forward thinking, is it possible to still be as forward thinking?
 
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brianbobcat

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2003
162
12
Illinois
...a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac,"...

I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
 
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Oohara

macrumors 68030
Jun 28, 2012
2,900
1,902
Baby Mac is beautiful :O

Can't help but wonder how Macs would have looked today if they had actually released that thing. I would have bought in a second.
 
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AQUADock

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2011
1,049
37
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

I don't think they would have been wireless if they were actually released.
 
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troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,744
468
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.
 
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GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
149
That baby Mac is pretty awesome. I think the idea of IR tech sounds plausible for wireless.
 
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Mactendo

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2012
1,967
2,044
Baby Mac looks like the first iMac! So it wasn't really a Johnny Ive creation, it was a frog design's legacy. Fantastic.
Designs look original and unusual but nice, and in 80s and 90s there were much more variation in design than in current Apple products.
 
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madsh

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2002
4
0
Looks to me like all the designs are also shown in the book AppleDesign, The Work of the Apple Industrial Design Group. 1997
Using the word 'reweal' seems like a journalistic twist....
 
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likemyorbs

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,956
5
NJ
The Macphone would have been absolutely revolutionary in 1985. Too bad it never came to be. The people would have appreciated it.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,523
15,793
Central U.S.
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

Pretty sure I used a wireless RF mouse in the mid-90s. I remember being blown away, but it was pretty laggy, had to be pointed a certain way, and couldn't be more than about 12-18" from the receiver. So not practical. I imagine similar tech would be available in Apple's labs years before—but deemed terrible to use.
 
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curmudgeon32

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2012
240
1
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
These are just mockups. One of the pictures just has the keyboard mocked up out of foam or paper or something.
 
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baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,636
2,055
Wow! The Baby Mac looks freaking awesome, even by today's standards! And the iPhone came a longggggg way :D
 
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NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,574
35
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

IBM's PCjr had an infrared wireless keyboard in 1984. While the design of the keyboard was much maligned, it connected nicely if the signal wasn't blocked. Interestingly, it would also connect through a wired connection, something that would be quite handy on modern wireless keyboards.
 
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