The Apple WALT – the telephone Mac from 1993 #Apple #Mac #Prototype @Appple
There has been a lot said about Apple’s development of the iPhone, and the history and inspiration behind the device – such as this notable 1993 concept of a “Telephone Mac.” One of the most notable examples of this is Apple’s lesser known desk phone known as the W.A.L.T. (Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone).
The W.A.L.T., which was announced at MacWorld 1983, was never released to the public, and only a very small handful of prototypes were ever constructed for the device. One of the few known samples of this was sold on eBay for $8,000 back in 2012. It was even prototyped in both “classic Mac” color and a somewhat more “business looking” dark gray color (white version pictured below).
While there are some key details known about the device, such as that it was designed in partnership with BellSouth and offered advanced features for its time, such as online banking access, a full touchscreen, fax and caller ID support, a built in address book, and even the ability to customize ringtones (it even featured Newton-like full handwriting support), a functioning version of the device has never, to my knowledge, been seen.
The Mac System 6 powered device is fascinating to see in function, and although it seems primitive by today’s standards, it was certainly an impressive feat for 1993. The videos show many features of the device, including the handwriting recognition and address book, as well as the hardware controls.
Interested in Apple prototypes? Let us know in the comments below.
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