The first iPad – from 2002

As a result of Apple’s recent patent wars we can see now some pictures about the first iPad prototype as it looked in 2002. A piece of history, and also a chance to see how an idea develops into a product before it finally reaches the market – in about a decade.

iPad then and now – more from the old video on NetworkWorld

“I’ll tell you a secret. It began with the tablet. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on with your fingers. I asked our people about it. And six months later, they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He got [rubber band] scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, ‘my God, we can build a phone with this!’ So we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the iPhone.” — Steve Jobs in 2010, at the All Things Digital conference

As for the patent war, I hope that brilliant minds keep chasing their ideas – and don’t mind that others use those to make their own products. In the end, being the only one in the market can be good from the business perspective, but having competitors moves the world forward in a much higher peak. A proof: Apple worked on the iPad for 10 years – for Asus, Acer, Samsung and others it took only a few to catch up.