The New York Times has revealed further details of the origins of Apple’s iPhone, indicating that, as widely maintained, the project began not as a revolutionary cellphone but as a notebook-scale internet tablet. John Markoff, discussing Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ recent dismissal of ebooks, claims that MultiTouch began life in a hardware development project creating a so-called ‘Safari Pad’.
“Apple’s multitouch technology began life not as a cellphone, but as a notepad-sized skunkworks project internally dubbed Safari Pad, run by Tim Bucher, then Apple’s head of Macintosh hardware. To his credit, Mr. Jobs seized on the technology and morphed it into the iPhone”John Markoff, New York Times
Image via Flickr
Markoff goes on to suggest that Apple could be working on an internet tablet & ebook reader, rivalling Amazon’s Kindle device, and building on the iPod Touch as first aspect of a new, WiFi-enabled platform rather than a simple evolution of the iPod line.
A touchscreen-based Mac OS X tablet was rumored for release earlier this year, but Apple instead launched the MacBook Air; now, speculation has begun that the compact motherboard and components in the Air are also serving as a test-bed for implementation in a smaller, UMPC-sized device.
[via Mac Rumors]