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
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Hot stocks: 10 record breaking companies The S&P 500 is trading at all-time highs, and many well-known businesses are leading the charge. Time to buy or sell? More
My biggest retirement mistake Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from. What they would do differently if they had another chance. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.