When last week’s flash iPod video “spy shots” leaked, I knew I’d seen something similar before. Digging around in my office today, I found it.
Apple has sold this calculator in its Company Store for a while—like most of the other souvenir items in that store (see the iPhone-like iPen and cool drink bottles in The Free iPod Book 3.3, page 237), it’s not Apple-designed; look hard enough on the web and you’ll probably find the company that makes it and puts any logo on its face. But, like the pen, someone at Apple had to pick this and say that it was worthy of being sold at the company’s headquarters. I wonder who makes that call?
If you pull the calculator’s screen, solar panel, and buttons off, then super-impose a slightly smaller iPod screen and iPod nano-sized Click Wheel on top—an experiment I tried with Photoshop above—the curves and thin metal look are surprisingly similar to the iPod in the spy shots. Sort of interesting; whether you believe the spy shots are a red herring or real, something like this could well have been the inspiration.