Apple Tablet Timeline

The excitement in the tech world about Apple’s rumored iTablet (iPad?) is getting close to fever pitch, culminating with an article in The New York Times today. But all the evidence suggests that the seeds of the iTablet were planted decades ago–so we’ve made a timeline for you.

A real Apple junkie would connect the rumors of the upcoming device all the way back to a conceptual movie made in 1987, during the reign of John Sculley. Yet apart from the failed–if amazingly visionary–Apple Newton Message Pad, Apple’s activity has only kicked into overdrive fairly recently.

Apple Tablet

The New York Times piece claims Apple’s been pushing the concept internally since 2003. And the iPhone, which debuted in 2007, could be seen as a step towards a real tablet PC. In the interim, there’ve been an increasing number of similar devices hitting the market–from the Kindle to the CrunchPad and even Microsoft’s rumored Courier.

So is it reasonable to assume that those years of research, the myriad touchscreen and UI Apple patents, leaked information, and recent news of Apple hiring back the guy that helped develop the Newton, Michael Tchao, all point towards a genuine Apple product en route? Has Steve Jobs, after apparently killing-off earlier unsatisfactory prototypes, finally figured out the gizmo’s magic mix?

[via The New York Times]