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Apple iPad design - it's been done before (images)

Really Apple? The iPad design is so new, so unique, that you can use it to legally ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the EU? I Don't Think So.
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Topic: iPad
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1 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Apple wants to keep the Samsung Galaxy Tab--and any other tablet--off the market. Their reasoning? The Galaxy Tab looks too much like the iPad.

Excuse me? The iPad just looks like a freaking tablet to me. .

Come on Apple, aren't you a little big to be throwing fits like this? Just because, Android now has 20% of the market, do you really have to try to keep potential competitors out of the marketplace by suing them? I think not.

Besides, let's get real, a tablet is a tablet, and I'll now show, there's nothing new about your tablet format—especially if you consider how often the idea's been kicked around in toys and fiction,

Apple iPhone and iPad:  First, let's consider the first iPad, and it's little, but older brother, the iPhone. Yep. Sure enough, it's a tablet. We've all seen it.

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2 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Next, let's take a look at the 'official' Apple iPad design, which is being used in the lawsutt. It looks pretty darn generic right? Surely, oh surely, someone's built something that had a similar design don't you think? Why yes, yes they have.

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3 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Roman Wax Tablet: In fact, those darn Romans back before the common era were already using tablets! Look, you can even see that they already had a frame around the display service!

4 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Etch-a-Sketch

Moving a few thousand years ahead, consider if you will, the Etch-a-Sketch: It's state-of-the-art toy technology for 1960. Sure, it has two knobs on the front, but darn, it's clearly a tablet!

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5 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Thanks to the wonders of television, we also knew in 1966 that the future belong to tablets. Here, we see Lt. Uhura of Star Fleet using what presumably is an iPad 2255—better known to true Star Trek fans as a Personal Access Display Device (PADD).

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6 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

What's that you say? That's a fixed part of the bridge? Nope. Here's another PADD being carried about by some poor slob wearing a red-shirt and we all know what that means!

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7 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

And, we can see tablets were still being used in the Star Trek universe in the 1990s with Deep Space Nine.

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8 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

I will give Apple some credit for fictional tablets as well though. It sure seems to me that in Pixar's 2004 animated movie The Incredibles that they were already iPads. The iPhone was still three years in the future. The iPad farther still. The bottom line though is that, as anyone can plainly see, there was nothing new or worthy of protection in the basic design of an iPad. 

 
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9 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Star Trek isn't the only future with tablets. In Stanley Kubrick/s 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, we also have tablets

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10 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Of course, long before the iPad, real world tablets were already appearing, While you certainly couldn't call it portable, the basic idea of a tablet can be seen in 1961's RAND Tablet, aka Grafacon (for 'Graphic Converter').

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11 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

The first prototype, which sure enough looks like an iPad, was the brainchild of Alan Kay: the Dynabook. This appeared in 1972.

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12 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

What's that? These are all just concepts or fiction? What do you think design is? Apple isn't fighting Samsung on patents, they're saying Samsung duplicated their look. Clearly, the tablet look has been around for thousands of years. But, if it's real equipment you want, real hardware we've got. The first tablet that shipped commercially, as far as I can tell, was the GRIDPad in 1989.

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13 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

The GRIDPad was followed by a slew of other unsuccessful tablets, including—oh the irony—HP's first failed tablet 1992's Compaq Concerto, . It turns out the HP TouchPad had failure in its DNA.

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14 of 14 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

By 1991, though, we finally had working tablets, like the Fujitsu PoqetPad.

Look at the record From almost the beginning of recorded history to twenty years before the iPad was introduced, the tablet was a common design. There's nothing new about the iPad's basic design. There never was. There never will be.

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