apple1983phone Apple developed touchscreen phone prototype in 1983

Apple developed a prototype for a touchscreen phone as far back as 1983, but decided not to go through with it, a decision that ultimately led to the iPhone's release many years later in 2007.

Apple developed a prototype for a touchscreen phone as far back as 1983, but decided not to go through with it, a decision that ultimately led to the iPhone's release many years later in 2007.

 
The prototype was developed by Hartmut Esslinger, founder of Frogdesign, which helped design numerous Apple products, including the IIc computer, the first Apple product to feature the snow white colour that became iconic of the company's design principles.
 
The phone looks like a traditional landline, with a built-in tablet screen that is operated by a stylus, a feature that Steve Jobs dropped from the original iPhone design. It looks pretty dated and the screen is particularly dull and unimpressive, but the fact that the technology could have been released so long ago opens a lot of 'what if' questions.
 
apple1983phone Apple developed touchscreen phone prototype in 1983
 
The phone industry could have been a very different place if Apple released this product in the 1980s, but it was probably a wise decision to hold off, as the market was likely not ready for it. It would have almost definitely have been expensive, which is no surprise for Apple, but likely a lot more so than the iPhone, given the general lack of availability of such technology at the time.
 
With such a potential high price tag, and the lack of consumer loyalty built by the success of the iPod, this device could have been a major flop, which could have made Apple think twice about developing the iPhone.
 
Source and Image Credit: Ubergizmo