It's Apple rumor season-really, when is it not?-and that means it's also the season of mockups. But the next time you see an appealing
mockup, keep in mind how deeply, deeply wrong most of us have been at guessing what the future of Apple might look like.
Apple bought the domain name iPhone.org in 1999-almost a full decade before it actually announced its first phone. And in the years in between,
the rumors flew
: A confluence of forces, including a boom in consumer technology writing on the internet and the ubiquity of Photoshop, conspired to create a fecund environment for speculation by armchair critics and designers. Was Jobs designing a flip phone? Maybe there'd be a slide-out keyboard! Perhaps it'd latch on to your existing iPod. Anything was possible.
Yesterday, NOVA editor Tim De Chant
an early iPhone mockup and reminded us all to "Be wary of iWatch mockups. Remember what we thought the iPhone would look like in 2006?" Inspired, I dug through the digital refuse that remains of the 2005 and 2006 internet to find more. And boy, did I find more.