Apple's Early Prototype iPad Had a 12-Inch Display

Earlier today, we pointed to some grainy photos of an early iPad prototype dating back to the 2002-2004 timeframe, revealing a much bulkier but otherwise fairly similar design to that seen in the device that was ultimately launched in 2010.

BuzzFeed has now posted new photos showing the prototype in full color next to an iPad 2, a comparison which shows the prototype to carry a much larger screen than seen on the iPad to date. Measuring pixel counts against the ruler shown in several of the photos reveals that the prototype device had a display measuring almost exactly 12 inches diagonally.

ipad prototype comparison front
Compared to the eventually-released iPad's 9.7-inch screen, the prototype device would have had roughly 40% more screen real estate, although it is unknown at what resolution the early device was projected to run.

ipad prototype comparison back
The prototype otherwise bears a distinct similarity to Apple's iBook of the time, carrying a white plastic shell with rounded corners and a 4:3 aspect ratio for the display. The prototype iPad measures in at just under 1-inch thick, compared to 1.35 inches for the white iBook models and the 0.34-0.50 inch range of the iPad models released to the public so far.

ipad prototype comparison side

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Top Rated Comments

Matthew Yohe Avatar
155 months ago
I guess this shows how far along Apple really is... Back in 2004 Apple conceived and tossed the idea of "perimeter venting":



And today Microsoft is touting a device that will have it soon:

Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Illusion986 Avatar
155 months ago
I wonder how long will it take for iPad 1/2/3 to look this outdated...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
155 months ago
I find it interesting that they did experiment with a thinner bezel.

I remember thinking how ugly that wide bezel was, when the original iPad was introduced but now that I own an iPad, and see that Apple made the decision to widen it, it makes complete sense.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrsir2009 Avatar
155 months ago
I'd like a 12 or 13 inch iPad :)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
burnout8488 Avatar
155 months ago
I guess this shows how far along Apple really is... Back in 2004 Apple conceived and tossed the idea of "perimeter venting":

Image (http://f.cl.ly/items/0i3m1Q2W0t2l0e3u301h/enhanced-buzz-wide-29946-1342646207-5.jpeg)

And today Microsoft is touting a device that will have it soon:

Image (http://www1.pcmag.com/media/images/292706-venting.jpg)

That's hilarious, the vents look nearly identical too.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
155 months ago
:D The i-brick? I doubt they would have had the DEV support either, I'm happy with the new one...The retina screen is a joy to use..I wonder if anybody actually has one of these?

I'm pretty sure Jony Ive has one. I would give up my right nut to rummage through that man's house and office/work lab. :)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)