Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

6 of 7
BACKNEXT
Apple touchscreen and tablet prototypes - 1980s
Apple touchscreen and tablet prototypes - 1980s
These two designs never made it to market, but they continue to inspire Apple's products.

First, industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger -- who actually assembled the Gizmodo Gallery -- developed a monochrome touch screen computer that could be operated with a stylus. These days it looks a lot like a precursor to the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Esslinger had been working for Sony when his work caught the eye of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who offered the designer an eye-popping $1 million contract. In the process of creating the touch screen, Esslinger also developed the "Snow White design," an aesthetic motif characterized by the machine's off-white color and a shape framed by horizontal and vertical lines. The design was ultimately applied to all Apple products from 1984 to 1990.

Esslinger also used the Snow White design to create a tablet computer for Apple, which has yet to see the light of day. Rumors have swirled for months that Apple will roll out a touch screen tablet PC that can run on a 3G network.

The blogosphere says we can expect to see an Apple tablet computer in stores by early 2010 -- but Esslinger saw it in his mind's eye decades ago.



NEXT: Rosetta Disk - 2009

Last updated September 23 2009: 11:26 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
The iPhone through the years The iPhone has evolved significantly throughout its history. Here's a look at how the iPhone has developed over the years. More
10 logo changes that drove people crazy When companies change logos, the backlash is often fierce. More
Hottest new Star Wars toys unveiled BB-8 can now be yours. So can interactive Furbacca, Yoda, a three-pronged lightsaber and other toys from the Star Wars movie. More

Special Offer