iPad prototype had bigger screen, was a full inch thick

According to new images leaked onto the Web, the so-called 035 iPad prototype, which dates back almost a decade, was a huge machine.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Is this an early iPad prototype?
Is this an early iPad prototype? Network World

The Apple world was abuzz yesterday after Network World published photos purporting to show an early iPad prototype. Now, new images have leaked providing some more details on that device.

BuzzFeed has published what it claims are photos showing comparisons between the so-called 035 iPad prototype and the iPad 2. The publication didn't say where it discovered the photos, but it's possible that they came from court documents filed in a legal fight between Apple and Samsung. The original photos published by Network World also came by way of court filings.

Whatever their provenance, the images show a striking difference between the alleged 035 prototype and the iPad 2. Although both devices feature a prominent screen surrounded by a thin, black bezel, the 035 prototype is staggeringly thick -- nearly one inch deep, in fact. In addition, the purported prototype is both wider and taller than the iPad 2, allowing it to accommodate a larger touch screen.

That stands in stark contrast to the iPad 2. That tablet, which Apple launched last year, is just 0.34 inch thick and comes with the familiar 9.7 inch LED-backlit display. It's 9.5 inches tall and 7.31 inches wide.

Yesterday, Network World's Yoni Heisler published photos of what the reporter's work suggested was the 035 prototype. Apple senior vice president of industrial design, Jonathan Ive, mentioned the prototype in a December court deposition.

"My recollection of first seeing it is very hazy, but it was, I'm guessing, sometime between 2002 and 2004 some, but it was, I remember seeing this and perhaps models similar to this when we were first exploring tablet designs that ultimately became the iPad," Ive said in the deposition. "I actually don't know which model shop made this, but I recognize this as a model that was produced during our exploration."