iPad Design Obvious? Tablet Design Before & After Apple iPad

Thursday, August 18, 2011
By OP Editor

Microsoft tablet PC vs. Apple iPad vs. Android tablets.

Design History: iPad vs. Tablet Industry

Tablet History Microsoft, Apple iPad, Android

Some Fandroids believe that the Apple iPad design is “obvious”, thus Android tablets are being totally original, instead being iPad knockoffs.

As the older Microsoft tablet PC showed, there are other ways to “design” a tablet.

Wait, aren’t some people crying for stylus? How do you multi-touch with a stylus?

Update: Apple tablet concept from 1983 + iPhone design obvious?

Update 2: SockRolid told ObamaPacman earlier today that he is not the creator of the image, and does not remember where it’s from.

PS. Re-post of image without source link = bad form. Dear Twitpic, Tumblr, and other image sharing site users, do you want to be known as an reporter or image thief?

Please credit your source if you like to be legit, otherwise it’s stealing. In terms of image credit, this seems to be a repeat of the iCloud golden ratio post. In that case, OP was able to get through to John Gruber at Daring Fireball, which posted proper credit. Except at this time OP cannot find the author of the image, yet.

[subarusvx.com/BeforeAfterIPad.jpg via macrumors forums]


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  3. 32 Failed Android + Microsoft Tablet PC Competitors vs. 2010 iPad
  4. HTC Evo View Android Tablet FAIL: Results in BET Awards Embarrassing Moment
  5. Samsung Galaxy Android Tablet Germany Ban: The Sticker

Tags: Android, Apple, Counterfeit, History, iPad, Microsoft

37 Responses to “iPad Design Obvious? Tablet Design Before & After Apple iPad”

  1. cubei

    “How do you multi-touch with a stylus”
    You need 2 stylus’. Or stylus + finger.

  2. kcdk99

    Why does the Samsung Galaxy Tab look so rectangular in your image?

  3. David_C

    A interesting conclusion of an apple fanboy. You had ever use a digitizer, do you? Also, the timeline must be divided by a “before-after” ARM processors, or, at least by “before-after” iOS.

    • @David_C,

      Apple Newton from the 90s has a digitizer. iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad also have a digitizer.

      Otherwise there won’t be any way to input from the display.

  4. ACID

    Ipad is just a small monitor with processor. Look at LCD monitor designed before Ipad. Take out stand VGA connector and bottons, you get ipad design.

    • Hauke

      Just look at digital photo frames they look exactly like the ipad even years before…

    • How come major PC builders didn’t release windows tablet that look like that?

    • ACID

      The key is the “obvious” not why no one did it before. Ipad has virtually not function compare to full pc or mac. Android tablets are the same as Ipad (limit function). Both of them do not need button and mouse (because of touch).

    • @ACID,

      Sure. The iPad is so limited it’s being adopted by huge number of fortune 100 companies. Must be due to its “limited” nature.

      PS. Intuitive =/= limited. So, the “full pc” has standard multi-touch or gyro control?

    • Higadeb

      Well what about the Samsung media & digital photo frame from 2006? That oddly looks like a Samsung P1000. How dare Samsung steal iPad designs from pre iPad!

    • @Higadeb,

      That seems to be one of the concept aka vaporware products that did NOT get sold in the US (probably due to Samsung not believing in that design).

      If it got made, it was probably just an obscure product in a “range” of products with different “designs” (most companies make tons of different designs to see which one will get lucky).

      So please share with us: what is its model number, price, and how many got sold?

      The photo frames that were sold by Samsung in the US seem to be a copy of the iPod / iPod nano design.

      Oh, Samsung abandoned digital photo frames. Surely that means those products became the market leading products so that other companies copied them:

    • Higadeb

      You’re not seeing the point.

      You claim that the tabs are blatent copies. How can they be copies if the design can be traced to one that Samsung had in ‘06? It doesn’t matter if the product sold millions, that’s not the discussion. The argument (as I see it) is that the Samsung tablets are copies of the iPads, suggesting that without the iPad then no one would have come up with that style of design which, as we can see, is wrong.

      Again, your point about people copying the samsung product as a ‘market leader’ is irrelevent to the discussion at hand.

      Besides, we don’t know why the product didn’t get sold. It might have been that at the time producing a product of that style (i.e. thin with screen to the edges) just cost too much money or the screen technology wasn’t yet up to it. Whatever the reason, the lack of sales of it doesn’t matter given that we are talking about design here.

    • So you are saying every single concept drawing beats real selling product.

      Fact: Apple iPad leads the tablet market.
      Fact: the knockoff makers didn’t invest to making such a product until the iPad became successful.

    • Since Star Trek is “prior art”, its creators must hold hundreds of patents on multi-touch and other iPhone / iPad technology. NOT.

      Science fiction is NOT prior art.

    • Early Grayce

      Sci Fi may not be prior art but it does influence design while simultaneously being influenced itself.

  5. Early Grayce

    Apples biggest problem is ChromeOS and is partnered by ChromiumOS which is open source and has a large development community so their actual inhouse development group can watch chromium and impliment the best ideas which saves huge amounts of time and money.
    Chromium is the most heavily branded unix system after iOS and a lot more recognisable than Ubuntu to the general public.
    As it continues to develop it will make slate OSes more like PCs necessitating BT keyboards and will become a bigger competitor to Microsoft than Apple thus negating or at least slowing the recent growth of apple.
    This is what the tablet wars are about

    All resistive touchscreens came with a stylus but could be used with a finger as all capacitive screens are used with a finger but can be used with a stylus.
    Similar/grouped items tend to be the same colour.
    LCD production has a sweetspot, size to pixel density and defects.
    All electronics get smaller over time.
    The TC1000 was the true forerunner for slate PCs so if they decide to get back in the game they would be fairly well sheilded from Apples patent BS.
    The TC1100 was great as it ran a full OS, had standard connectors as well as a docking connector which could turn it into a notebook or a tablet PC.

  6. Derek

    I see that since I disagreed with you, you deleted my comments. I am sure this will get deleted as well. But I just wanted to say that like the Apple company, things that disagree with you, even civil comments, will be deleted.

    • Your comment contained multiple insults that were flagged by the comment system and automatically held for review. For example, you started out by calling this article “delusional”. Here’s the first line of your comment:

      “I would agree with this currently delusional comparison if the OP editor would…”

      And you call that a “CIVIL” comment? The comment system also tells you that your comment is held for moderation.

  7. Derek

    I will apologize for the insults and admit that they were not civil at all. Thank you for pointing that out in a civil manner. I am really not as rabid as I came across in that response.

    I have no other word for the frame of reference of the Apple devotee. Apple ignores things that would fail another company out of hand and their customers are at their most vocally supportive of the company when the company intentionally tries to hide a mis-step. Like their Time machine external drives that were defective. They took two years before they admitted that they knew that the hardware was defective, charging customers the whole time for Apple Care for them for repairs and then as small and quietly as they could putting it out just once that they would refund any customers that were charged for repairs to their defective equipment.

    What do the Apple faithful do in instances like that? They make up outrageous excuses from a non-technical standpoint and Apple just lets those go since they are to its advantage.

    So let me remove my admitted insults with apologies and go back to the facts I placed in front of this article.

    The first is that Apple never wanted anything to do with a tablet and certainly didn’t have one in their failed attempt to cash in on the PDA market against Palm and blackberry wit their Newton. That was not only not a tablet, it wasn’t a very good PDA either.

    The second fact is that the form factor you and others point to as Apple’s concept and somehow their patentable design look is less than credible. The Kindle was a great success with that form factor albeit smaller before Apple. Saying Apple designed it is like saying that Japan ever designed anything in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80,s. They took out inventions like the transistor and the tape player and made them smaller cheaper, and more available, but the patents were ours.

    If Apple were to design and build a television of whatever stripe regardless of the pretty case, reduced size, (already been done BTW) or proprietary music and movie streaming put on it, I think even the readers in a frenzy of buyers justification for paying too much for a label would have trouble swallowing that Apple invented the TV.

    If you put the iPad in the bottom set of pictures, and add the Kindle in the middle I think that no one can disagree that the form factor was not Apple’s to claim. The kindle was the link between tablets before and tablets today.

    And please don’t make the distinctions for color and size. That would be like Apple producing a personal computer and claiming that it is not a personal computer and is different when in fact it is was a PC back in the pre Intel days and is a PC today as it is not a mainframe computer or other business class main supercomputer anymore than a Dell is.

    Oh wait a minute, Apple is doing that aren’t they? How do I say that without it being taken as an insult by an Apple user?

    Apple computers and electronics are made by the exact same factories as all the other computer and phone makers even the one Apple bought that was an ODM prior, all of the QC, hardware, and assembly line work is done by the exact same ODMs and workers that do their competitors.

    Google Taiwan contracts and read with a few sidetracks and you will get the reports of X company gets Apple contracts for the laptop and the Dell contract for theirs etc. The only difference in an Apple computer and my non Apple computer is the chip that the software can check so the Apple OS will not load on another computer. So much for better quality.

    It is well known fact that Apple stole the idea of the mouse and the GUI from Xerox Parc going so far as to hire away some of their people.

    It is a fact that after Apple lost their ridiculous patent lawsuits with MS, and luckily for Apple the Xerox folks who wanted to sue Apple for stealing the GUI and mouse were not allowed in the litigation at that time to sue Apple, that Apple nearly was near complete bankruptcy and failure. Bill Gates and MS bought 150 million bucks worth of shares which saved Apple just as Steve Jobs was returning to Apple. The reason was to prevent MS from being the only giant and a target of “real” monopoly lawsuits.

    Thus MS saved Apple. Of course in the 97 Macworld conference (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxOp5mBY9IY ) Steve put the company spin on it as did Gates who also appeared there. I am 59 and lived through it as a tech back then in the early 80’s and onward. If a Mac person goes to view that video for balance it would behoove to read the lawsuit over the GUI with Apple attempting to sue MS and failing that, starting to go bankrupt. NO amount of fan revisionist history can overcome the facts that are readily available. Not from MS fans. Not from Apple Fans.

    Thus my shorthand asking the current crop of young Apple fans to Google Evil Wintel. Because most would not believe that people believed such nonsense about the company that makes their hardware and has for a number of years. The startling thing about that is that it went from all over the Internet as THE proof of a conspiracy against them that suddenly, in the span of a week after Apple announced it was going from Motorola chips to Intel chipsets, very suddenly, turned Intel to a friend.

    To me that was the equivalent to the president of Iran claiming that the attacks of 9/11 were staged by Americans to make the Islamic world look bad, suddenly saying that the US was right all along. Hey he has folks convinced they did stage it just by using big lie theory and saying it over and over again and torturing anybody that disagrees.

    Apple isn’t evil never was. MS isn’t evil never was. Intel isn’t evil never was. I don’t remember Linux and MS people saying anything remotely resembling evil remarks against Apple.

    And Apple was not a name that Steve and Woz came up with either. And we both know what the courts would have said had the Beatles decided to be like Apple was in their assertions that they invented the mouse and the desktop, or that as you assert and they did in court assert that the design is their form factor. I personally see no difference except one control chip for the OS between and Apple anything and the competition they copied and continue to copy.
    Steve isn’t around to say it is so anymore. How long do you think it will take to fall? I give them ten years to bankruptcy. There are no enemies to fight. They are getting infected like everybody else by the same social engineering to make them click on an infected whatever the same as the only way most other OS’ get infected today. It is as inherently safe as any other OS as they all fall when targeted.

    All that to say please don’t insult the intelligence of readers with that one sided overlooking of the real forerunner of the form factor. That would be like Apple claiming to have invented the fiber optic motherboard buss’ that Intel ( you remember them, the Evil one?) invented.

    Now aside from some obvious pointing out the facts, what facts there were wrong? How can they be taken as insulting?

    Not wanting to hear it is entirely different. Not admitting that the form factor has been done before Apple is another thing too.

    I will let you put the words you like to those “things.” I won’t use the word i usually do when I see someone with their eyes on a fact and saying they do not see it or it is blue when it is clearly red.

  8. Derek

    Why yes I have. Too bad they never made it and it remained a concept. But if you go to the actual history of the tablet many came before Apple made one for actual sale.

    I really take no umbrage with your Apple centric preferences. But the topic was Apple’s form factor and i said that the kindle was first in that form factor. You are skirting that issue.

    Here is an Apple centric article that was posted the day that Apple announced their iPad and was a review of the failure of all tablets up to that point.
    Take a look at these and read the comments below the article’s 2 pages with pics:

    So my answer in brief is that the iPad design was obvious and its form factor came after the Kindle and was too similar to overlook.

    I have seen them and used the early computers of the 80’s including but nmot limited to the Commodore in all flavors including the portable SX64. The early IBM XT, the Zenith Z-100 in C/PM with a dos card. A Timex Sinclair, and lots of word processor stand alone suitcase sized devices, as well as the first Macs in College courses I took in the 80’s for engineering. My first taste of Apple platforms and the mouse and GUI. I was there when Jobs was booted, when Gates rescued Apple, when Apple heads called the rest of the world the evil Wintel, etc. I used Palms and still have ione along ewith the sync and charging stand base. I coveted the Poquet PC, and Toshiba came out with a tablet laptop that was phenomenal.
    Everybody had concept machines. What counts when you talk of owning a design or form factor is putting it out and then seeing who copies it. Apple has never been first, nor invented anything. From taking the idea of the mouse and GUI from Xerox PARC, to using the Evil Wintel developed motherboards and chipsets after they were proven, Apple has a long history of innovation of the ideas of others. Brilliantly done, but copies nevertheless.

  9. Derek

    BTW a correction. I said Time machines that failed and I meant to say Time Capsule failures which were covered up for two years.

  10. Derek

    Now how about putting the Kindle in the middle of the pics and moving the iPads down to the bottom group where they belong?


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