Artists and designers love to imagine the future of our favorite devices, but this work by artist Pierre Cerveau visualizes what a “Macintosh phone” may have looked like had the company tried to create one in 1987 — a mere three years after the unveiling of the first Mac.
With a chunky design that mimics the shape of the early Macs, a monochrome CRT-like display and a rotary dial, it’s not hard to envision this little device being an expensive Apple product in the latter part of the 1980s. There are some anachronisms and errors in this make-believe concept phone, though. First, dial phones had pretty much been supplanted by touch-tone phones by the 1980s — even the Motorola DynaTac 8000x, the first commercially available cell phone from 1983, had a touchpad for dialing. Next, there’s no antenna on the device. Unless it was meant to be a landline phone connecting through some sort of dongle connected to the DE-9 connector at the bottom of device, it would not have more than a few feet of wireless range. Finally, if the mythical Macintosh Phone had required cooling vents on the top, it most likely would have been too hot to hold.
But I digress; this is still a very fun mashup that is quite imaginative and is true to the fonts, logo and case colors that were so familiar to early Mac users. Given the premium price that the Macintosh commanded in the 1980s (a 512K “Fat Mac” cost $2,795 at launch — about $6,400 in today’s dollars), what do you think this Macintosh Phone would have cost? Put your guess in the comments.