The times before iPad: concept photos made 8 years before the first iPad
Recently the media publisher Network World got a possibility to take a look at Jonathan Ive's archives, containing photos of the maquette of Apple tablet, developed between 2002 and 2004.
Home Button?
The maquette looks just like a big piece of flat plastic, but without well-known Home Button. Even though the design is pretty far from the nowadays version of an iPad, in measure of the beginning of the 2000s, it looks pretty futuristic.
The maquette is called 035, and here is Johnathan
Ive quote on it:
As I remember, 035 was developed somewhen between 2002 and 2004, and this model has become the beginning of the path of discovering tablets and their creation, which ended up with iPad development.

Steve Jobs has made us re-create the product several times because of a big weight, energy usage and slow work of the system.
Meanwhile, answering the question if the 035 was developed personally by Johnathan, he answered:

This is one of the best memories I have, it was modelled as a result of teamwork.

Here are several sketches, attached to the patent of a portable tablet, made by Apple in 2005:


There is no surprise Apple has changed the way designers were trying to create the look of portable computers before iPad appeared — just like the iPhone has changed the whole understanding of smartphone design.

Nick Bilton from the New York Times has said that the earliest iPad models have appeared in 2000 and were 7-inched, just like iPad mini. But, whatever the size was, Steve Jobs did not like the first prototypes. Jobs has stopped a huge amount of early development processes when the devices were ready for the mass production and made the engineers do all again. In Bilton's opinion, Jobs just could not imagine such a massive, uncomfortable and energy-consuming device in customers hands.

At the All Things D conference, Steve Jobs has said that Apple started the work on tablet earlier than on a phone:

I am gonna tell you, all started with a tablet, with an idea of a glass display having multitouch that would allow printing with fingers. I have asked the colleagues what do they think about all of that. Six months later they have made this wonderful display. And I have thought, that we could create a phone with just the same display!

So we have put the tablet aside and started our work on a phone.
Nick Bilton
Nick Bilton from the New York Times has said that the earliest iPad models have appeared in 2000 and were 7-inched, just like iPad mini. But, whatever the size was, Steve Jobs did not like the first prototypes. Jobs has stopped a huge amount of early development processes when the devices were ready for the mass production and made the engineers do all again. In Bilton's opinion, Jobs just could not imagine such a massive, uncomfortable and energy-consuming device in customers hands.

Here are the photos from the archive, comparing iPad 2 with maquette 035:
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