TUAW readers who are into collecting Apple devices are going to love this eBay find: a prototype of an unreleased product from 1993. The Apple WALT (Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone) was introduced at Macworld Boston in '93, the same venue where the ill-fated Newton MessagePad first went on sale.
WALT, like Newton, also had a touchscreen, a stylus, and handwriting recognition. It was designed to be a companion to a home landline phone, and was designed in cooperation with BellSouth. Built into WALT were services like an address book, fax (remember that technology?), caller ID, custom ringtones, and online banking. To interact with all of these services, users worked with a customized version of System 6 with a HyperCard GUI in place of the Finder.
According to the seller's description, "Back in 2008 PC World published a list of the "Top 15 Vaporware Products of All Time". The W.A.LT. was #1." While WALT was ogled by the public at Macworld Boston 1993, the device never went into production. This prototype, complete with a full printed user manual (so much for ease of use), is being sold by eBay user russel400. The WALT is priced at US$8,000 -- note that you'd better be handy with a soldering iron if you want to get it back to working order, as it has a few "loose connections" that have rendered it unusable.
Of course, you could also spend that eight grand on sixteen brand new third-generation iPads...