During last year’s widely publicised Apple vs Samsung case dozens of images were dug out of secret boxes for public scrutiny, of early iPhone prototype models. All those models, though very different from production iPhones still looked like smartphones because they were only design prototypes. Now, a fresh set of prototype iPhone images have surfaced, thanks to Ars Technica. Images which show how the iPhone looked before it was even a phone.
These new images show a prototype device that is the size of a small tablet, to be precise 5 x 7 inches, with a thickness of roughly 2 inches. The images Ars has received come from a former Apple employee who in early 2000 was part of a team working on developing the iPhone. This particular set of images are from 2005, two years before the iconic device came into production.
The piece of hardware in the images show a display unit fitted to an open circuit board and a whole set of input and output ports, which are generally found in PCs. This includes an ethernet port, USB, composite and even a serial port. The existence of these ports reveal what an early stage of development these images come from.
According to Ars Associate Writer Andrew Cunningham the chip used in this prototype was an earlier version of the processor that powered the first iPhone. He says, the chip was “a distant relative of the chip the first iPhone ended up using, just older and slower.” He added, “This chip is also an ARM9 chip, while the original iPhone eventually ended up using an ARM11 chip, but obviously Apple intended to use Samsung-manufactured ARM chips even this far back.”
Apple obviously intended to make an ultra portable device in the end, but it is still astonishing to think that just two years later the engineers managed to shrink all that into a device roughly the size of out palm. Head over to the source link to view all the images.
Source: Ars Technica