Steve Jobs Was Dreaming of a "Mac Phone" Back in 1984

By Gary Cutlack on at

The idea of Apple moving into telecoms may go even further back in time than we thought, with one of Apple's former bosses revealing that Steve Jobs demanded concept sketches for a Mac-based executive communications centrepiece some 20 years before the iPhone rumours began.

The news comes from John Sculley, who was an Apple CEO at one point and a sort of Jony Ive muse figure to Jobs way back in the 1980s. Speaking to TechCrunch, Sculley explained how he came to sketch out a Mac Phone to amuse Jobs's curiosity in 1984, saying: "He was not a drawer, he was a great visionary but he couldn't draw. I could draw, I had studied design. So Steve would describe it to me, I'd draw it out."

The Jobs-dictated concept for the Mac Phone saw a desktop phone equipped with a screen running the Mac OS of the day, allowing 1980s businessmen to multitask in a way that was currently unheard of. Sculley says Jobs said "no" to most of his design ideas, mind, although a "hard model" physical prototype of the Mac Phone was made a few years after this initial sketch brainstorming session.

Perhaps the need to hurriedly sketch out and amend ideas to please your resident big thinker was why Sculley went on to head up the development of Apple's Newton PDA series? That went well. [TechCrunch via Cult of Mac]