For every Apple product that goes on sale, there are likely tens or hundreds or versions that don’t. While most remain in the design room trash basket or tucked away in a room somewhere in Apple Park, a document that was disclosed as part of the Epic Games dispute gives us a peak into the world of the Apple also-rans.
The two-page document is an agenda from an Apple executive meeting, emailed by Steve Jobs on August 5, 2007 for a meeting the following day. The agenda items cover product groups including Mac, music and iPhone (the first iPhone was launched just two months earlier). It was shared on Twitter by the Internal Tech Emails (opens in new tab) account (via The Verge (opens in new tab)).
It then lists many products that we are very familiar, such as Mac OS X Leopard, which came out in October 2007, and the MacBook Air that launched in 2008. It also mentions products for 2008 that are less familiar.
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A 15-inch MacBook air has long been rumored but never materialized – though it is something that is still a possibility today. And though the Mac Tablet could refer to the eventual release of the iPad in 2010 but at this stage it could be that Apple was experimenting with a tablet running Mac OS X.
Among the music devices, it lists a new iPod shuffle for 2008 to follow the hugely popular clip 2nd generation model, however, a new design didn’t arrive until 2009, so this one was probably killed. It also mentions a ‘Super nano for $199’. The nano was eventually phased out after the 7th generation in 2015 but never made it past 16GB in capacity. A super nano suggests something closer to the iPod 6th gen, which was available in massive 80GB and 160GB capacities. This is perhaps the biggest miss from the list – as I think I’d still buy a super nano today.
There are also interesting notes scribbled on the agenda by an unknown executive. In the top right of the page the name fakestevejobs is also written. This was a blog created by an anonymous blogger (that turned out to be the editor of Forbes magazine, Daniel Lyons) that parodied the then Apple CEO by creating a mock diary. This obviously was discussed in the meeting.