Inside the design process of some of Apple’s most iconic devices

“Heltmut Esslinger worked with Steve Jobs in 1982 on the design of early Apple products — and many of those products turned into the best sellers of the 21st century,” David Shamah writes for ZDNet.

“Heltmut Esslinger, the head of San Francisco-based Frog. Esslinger has been in the design business for over 40 years, and his company Frog has been one of the most influential tastemakers in the electronics and consumer products business (the designer of products including the Sony Trinitron TV, the full line of AEG electronics, the Acer Inspire) and the entire early line of Apple products, from the Apple IIC to the Laserwriter to the early Macintoshes,” Shamah writes. “But Esslinger’s impact on Apple goes far beyond those designs. In a presentation Esslinger recently made in Israel about his work with Steve Jobs in designing the Apple line, it was clear that he and Jobs had a far-ranging view of where they wanted Apple to go.”

Shamah writes, “The two saw it all: the slides Esslinger presented showed the early prototypes of what would become the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, the devices and computers that have set the tone for the entire electronics industry. Little did Esslinger and Jobs know that, for example, the ‘Bashful’ prototype that they designed would one day grow up to be the iPad, and with it popularise a whole new sector of computing, based on a drawing made way back in 1982. Or did they?

Read more, and see the photos and drawings, in the full article here.


  1. While you are at it, your “” is rejecting any emails I send saying “Quota exceeded (mailbox for user is full). It has been happening for 3 days.


    This topic has been posted before. It’s making rounds again.

    However it shows, that what Apple produces today is not new thinking, at least for them. What Apple puts out has been sitting in their “Idea Vault” for decades.

    If Steve is like Einstein, then all his work was done before he ever left Apple in the first place. They have a 100 years of products on the back burner. Apple is simply pacing themselves.

    The only thing they have to worry about, is making the tech look current, aesthetically.

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