On the heels of Apple’s big announcement of its newest iPad, the iPad Air, comes a startling revelation of what could have been. In a rare display of transparency, Apple unveiled an early prototype of the fifth generation iPad, dubbed the iPad Water.
"The iPad Water is unapologetically liquid," says Apple Senior Vice President of Design, Jony Ive, in a promotional video shared with the press.
Aiming for the ultimate form of simplicity and portability, the iPad Water allows customers to use and carry their tablets in the liquid vessel of their choice.
Apple is always thinking about new ways to use the basic states of matter," Apple CEO Tim Cook elaborates. "We noticed that people everywhere constantly consume liquid. We use glasses at the dinner table. Joggers carry water bottles. Whether having a gourmet meal or simply mopping the floor, we wanted the iPad Water to seamlessly fit into our customers’ lifestyles."
Utilizing "Wetina Display" technology, the iOS interface is projected onto the surface of the iPad Water’s container. Apple displayed the new iPad in various receptacles, including tumblers, shot glasses, pales, and even troughs.
With a simple swish of the finger, users can launch and download their favorite apps," said Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. "Our customers will find this both simple and refreshing. It’s a great way to watch their favorite movies, like Man of Iron or the Star Search trilogy."
Unfortunately, preliminary user testing was not promising. Testers frequently complained about difficulty interacting with the interface due to the viscosity of the iPad Water. Icons would simply float away. Users in colder climates also complained about system freezes. Apple’s legal team was also concerned about the possibility of small children drinking the iPad Water – an action that could very well be lethal.
"Sometimes, my charming British accent and cool demeanor make terrible ideas seem like great ones," commented Ive.
The fact that the iPad Water didn’t make it to market isn’t discouraging the company.
"This is proof positive that Apple continues to innovate in the post Steve Jobs era," said Schiller. "Now, who wants a $3,000 ash tray?"