Apple’s 1983 Touchscreen Phone Prototype (25 Years Before the iPhone!)

Apple’s 1983 Touchscreen Phone Prototype (25 Years Before the iPhone!)

Apparently Apple was working on the idea of a touchscreen phone way back in 1983, even before the Macintosh was released. An interesting new prototype has surfaced, designed by Hartmut Esslinger – a desk phone with a complete touchscreen interface.

Esslinger, the co-founder of Frog Design, was contracted by Apple in a 1 million dollar annual deal to produce design concepts. Esslinger also worked with Apple on other projects, including the Apple IIC.

In 1982 he entered into a $1 Million dollar a year contract with Apple Computer to create Apple’s design strategy. The result was the Apple “Snow White design language” which was applied to all Apple products from 1984 to 1990 including the Apple IIc and the Macintosh.

The image comes from a gallery of images posted by Fudder. The original image is owned by Frog Design, although Fudder doesn’t reveal how they obtained the image.

It’s pretty fascinating to think that Apple was working on a phone, even a touchscreen phone, two and a half decades before the iPhone was released.

  1. Aidan Taylor says:

    First of all thats not a prototype, its a product and it failed just like there other 3 touch pen devices. Second its nothing new i seen it years ago so i dont see why this is even news, also i would like to mention the first touch screen pen device was all the way back in 1980, the first multitouch device was by Samsung in 2001 which they then sold licences for the technology.

    1. lucas823 says:

      Samsung did not create the first multitouch device. Multitouch had been researched since the 80’s, and the first commercial product that I know of came out in 1998 from a company called Fingerworks. What became of that company? It was bought by apple. who used their patents and technology to make the iphone.

    2. Actually, no. It is a prototype. Never produced or publicly sold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *