A new video provides a rare look at a little-known Apple gadget from 1993 that was never released

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Sonny Dickson

  • A new video shows Apple’s WALT prototype from 1993.
  • Like the iPhone, WALT aimed to combine many of the elements of a phone and a desktop computer.
  • The recently published video shows many of the device’s core features, like its phone book, fax system, and bank management software.
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Long before Steve Jobs famously introduced the iPhone in 2007, which he described as being “an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator” all in one, Apple was clearly experimenting with ways to combine the elements of phones and computers.

That’s evidenced by a new video of an unreleased Apple device called the Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone, or W.A.L.T, which prominent tech blogger Sonny Dickson published on April 9. Although it’s one of Apple’s lesser-known devices and was never released to the public, the prototype still managed to sell for $8,000 on eBay in 2012.

While the W.A.L.T. wasn’t meant to be a mobile device like the iPhone, it does include many familiar features that were popularized by the modern smartphone and other early mobile devices.

It supports touch input, includes features like an address book, and appears to have been designed with enterprise-oriented use cases in mind. The video shows how the W.A.L.T. could be used to send faxes and manage bank accounts, for example, and it ran on Apple’s Mac System 6 operating system, Dickson notes.

Check out the video in full below.