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Newly Released Photos Reveal Early iMac, Mac Tablet Designs

apple02[1]Apple has long been known for making devices with visually distinct designs (and then accusing everyone of copying them). As we can see today, those designs didn’t just fall off the back of a truck.

Design Boom has just posted a gallery of photos showing off the work of Hartmut Esslinger, a German designer who worked with Apple in the early and mid-80s.

The gallery includes a number of gadgets which were never made, including the Macphone and a funky looking dual flat-screen work station, but it also includes a design from 1982 which clearly became the first Macintosh. There’s also a photo from 1985 which hints at the design of the iMac, even though that computer wasn’t released until a decade later.

Here’s a couple more images (© designboom):

Update: DesignBoom has asked me to reduce the number of images in this gallery and direct you to their website to see the rest.

The one I like best is the MacTablet. There had been hints before that Apple had looked at that concept in the 1980s. That tablet, which was codenamed Bashful, was more of a fixed desktop touchscreen computer than what we would call a tablet today.

It’s a pity that Apple never made the Bashful; it would have been expensive but it would also have turned computing upside down – again.



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Chad December 29, 2012 um 8:54 am

The one in the upper right is the Apple IIc, which was my first "real" computer (my first was a TI 99/4a, but I’m not sure that actually counts). The portable screen was available for it, but we didn’t have it – we had the setup in the left frame which shows how it was used as a desktop.

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