Rare Apple VideoPad prototype scrapped by Steve Jobs set to be auctioned

The long-lost Apple VideoPad 2 prototype is going up for auction in November as part of a History of Science and Technology auction by Bonhams, an international auction house, in Los Angeles. The VideoPad will be auctioned alongside other Apple prototypes and Steve Jobs memorabilia and is estimated to sell between $8,000 and $12,000.

Developed between 1993 and 1995 with VideoPad 1 and 3 (the only two examples shown to the public), this only surviving PDA prototype was Apple’s next attempt after the Newton Message Pad. Unlike the Newton Message Pad, the fold-up screen apparently included a built-in camera for video conferencing.

Despite being designed to be ahead of its time, it was canceled along with Newton OS after Jobs’ return to the company in 1997. According to Bonhams, that was after Jobs realized the technology was not yet at the level required for a positive user experience.

The device was produced from conceptual design sketches drawn by former CEO John Sculley. The design never made it to the public, but it was a super early vision for a tablet, and if you squint, you can see a line drawn between it and successful devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Other Apple devices set to make a bidding appearance include the original Apple II Personal Computer and prototypes like the Apple Macintosh, Apple EMate 300, and the first generation iPad, plus an autographed handwritten letter from Jobs to his childhood best friend estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.

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