If Apple made the Macintosh a mobile phone, would there still be an iPhone?


One of the most important products in Apple's history is the iPhone. But in addition to the smartphone that "changed" the world, it can't be left behind — the Macintosh. The launch of the Macintosh 128K in 1984 opened up the market at the time and ushered in Apple's "Mac" era in the following decades.

▲ Picture from: 9TO5Mac, Unsplash

Originally two different products, but in the whimsy of designer Rex Sowards, they merged into one and became a pocket Macintosh like a mobile phone – Macintosh Pocket.

This bold design of "going back to the past" is actually the answer given by Rex Sowards to another idea: If in the 8090s, Apple wanted to make a pocket Macintosh, what would be the result?

▲ Picture from: Behance

Rex Sowards first envisioned a "Macintosh phone" as a Macintosh Classic reduced to a Game Boy (portable handheld game console). The Game Boy Pocket (a smaller version of the Game Boy) is naturally one of the design inspirations for the "Macintosh Pocket".

▲Game Boy Pocket, picture from: iFixit

In addition, there are Rex Sowards for models such as the Macintosh Classic, Macintosh Quadra and Performa, Apple's "Snow White Design Language" created by German designer Esslinger in the late '80s, and old Macs. A long study of style.

▲ Picture from: Behance

Putting the computer into the mobile phone, how to control the cursor has become the most energy-consuming part of Rex Sowards. Given the age of the envisaged product, using a trackpad or touchscreen is clearly inappropriate. But he also didn't want to use a trackball, because that would be reminiscent of the classic BlackBerry design.

▲ Picture from: angelinawen, AppleInsider

The hesitant Rex Sowards decided to use the trackball solution after referring to the PowerBook models introduced by Apple in the 1990s. But instead of placing it in the center, it is placed on the right side above the keyboard, not only to avoid the similarity with the BlackBerry design, but to leave the right place for the Apple logo and product label.

▲ Picture from: Behance

The CRT monitor screen used on the "Macintosh Pocket" makes it more like an old computer of that era. The label on the back of the fuselage is also deliberately created a low-resolution and pixelated feeling after borrowing from previous Apple and Game Boy advertisements.

▲ Picture from: Behance

There seems to be only a large area of ​​labels on the back of the fuselage, but when you open the back cover, you can see the Macintosh Classic ports that Rex Sowards has ingeniously "hidden" here: Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), printer, modem and SCSI DB-25 interface. This solution also neatly combines the Game Boy's push-to-flip back design with Apple's habit of hiding ports.

Of course, compared to the Macintosh Classic, the "Macintosh Pocket" is so compact that it can't fit in the floppy disk drive that was common in that era, and it can't run the old Mac OS on it.

▲ Picture from: Behance

But the design of Rex Sowards is still a bold and interesting attempt, presenting a "parallel universe"-style imagination. If such a design idea was adopted at that time, what kind of product we might see.

Another interesting aspect of the creation of "Macintosh Pocket" is that the idea for Rex Sowards to make such a product came from a clip from "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt".

▲ Picture from: Behance

Kimmy, the protagonist of the play, was full of curiosity about today's world after being rescued from an illegal organization by the police after a lapse of fifteen years. After seeing the iPhone with the Apple logo printed on it, he said in surprise, "Is this a Macintosh? "

The iPhone in Kimmy's hands is naturally not a Macintosh, but on the "Macintosh Pocket", we see a Macintosh that could be an iPhone.

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