Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Mar 2013 13:39 UTC
Apple "This early prototype has a number of ports that we're used to seeing more commonly on computers than on mobile devices, including USB ports, an Ethernet port, and even a serial port. Apple never intended for all of these to make it into the final product, of course - our source said that because this was a development prototype, ports like Ethernet and serial were included simply to make working on the device easier." Fascinatingly awesome.
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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 11th Mar 2013 13:53 UTC
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It would be even more interesting to see software running on it, some kind of GUI and get a sense in what direction Apple was thinking until it ended up with what we got.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 11th Mar 2013 14:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Yeah I'm sad there's no software to show. I guess that was part of the deal allowing the guy/gal to take it home.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 11th Mar 2013 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:

At this stage there was probably not much to see. Most likely some diagnostic stuff to test the touch screen.

Still certainly at later stages they probably had a number of GUIs before settling on what they did.

At first there was no app store, which made the screen layout look a bit odd. You had these small icons, but there was plenty of space. Why not make the icons bigger then? Why go for icons anyway?

Maybe Apple already anticipated that in the future more icons would feature on the iPhone screen, but I wonder if they weren't already planning for 3rd party apps from day one.

If only we had 100% insight in to the thoughts and prototypes of companied not only like Apple, but also IBM where I'm sure they have even more juicy stuff stored in boxes in a dark cellar.

Reply Score: 2

iPhone? Or tablet?
by Laurence on Mon 11th Mar 2013 15:12 UTC
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I'm sure I read somewhere (possibly even from an article posted on here) that the iPhone project originally started out as a tablet and was only later decided to refocus as a smart phone.

I'll try to dig out a link later but this prototype would certainly support that assumption.


I'm not going totally mad, it was posted on here:

It all began as a tablet

The iPhone actually began as a tablet project. Indeed, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller testified that the success of the iPod and the disruptive effect it had on the music industry prompted Apple to think about what other industries it could tackle.

The iPod, Schiller explained, "really changed everybody's view of Apple both inside and outside the company." Schiller said that as ideas were tossed about regarding Apple's next leap, everything was fair game, with some at the company going so far as to suggest Apple look into developing a stand-alone camera, or even a car.

But once some of the more grandiose ideas began to dissipate, the Apple brain trust began focusing their attention on creating a tablet.


Edited 2013-03-11 15:20 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Generic board
by biffuz on Tue 12th Mar 2013 00:18 UTC
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This is just a generic ARM development board installed on a touch screen kit. It's not a phone, it has no battery, wifi, or bluetooth, how can it be an "iPhone prototype"? It isn't a prototype of nothing - or everything, depending on how you see the world.

There is nothing to identify this as coming from Apple, or even used by them. Actually it seems barely used at all. It's obvious that Apple had to start from something like this, there's nothing to be excited about.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Generic board
by MOS6510 on Tue 12th Mar 2013 06:12 UTC in reply to "Generic board"
MOS6510 Member since:

It's an early prototype. I think your points are valid though, but I can imagine things like batteries, WiFi & Bluetooth are relatively "easy" and be added in a much later stage.

What Apple probably tried to find out first if they could run OS X on it at a reasonable speed and if you they could make a touchscreen.

Once that works it's easy to just add all the extras and see if you can fit it in a case.

This prototype is very interesting, because it comes from a period in time where Apple didn't really know where they and it would be going. Tablet, phone, size, specs.

Apple wasn't in to tablets or phones, unlike other companies who knew from the start what they would be making.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Generic board
by biffuz on Tue 12th Mar 2013 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Generic board"
biffuz Member since:

It's not a prototype. You can't buy an industrial engine, strap it to a wooden chassis and call it a Ferrari prototype. At most, this was just used to port the OS and test the GUI (but you could do the same on a PC with a touch screen attached).
It may have some historical interest, but as there isn't anything to identify it as being used from Apple, its value is null. Assuming it's not an hoax, of course.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Generic board
by MOS6510 on Tue 12th Mar 2013 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Generic board"
MOS6510 Member since:

Well, I guess it depends on your definition of a prototype, but I think I'll side with yours and don't consider it a prototype.

What about a pre-prototype?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Generic board
by biffuz on Tue 12th Mar 2013 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Generic board"
biffuz Member since:

I consider it just a tool, used to port the OS and playing with the GUI. Screwing a couple of parts together (literally) is too little to be considered a prototype of any sort.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Mar 2013 15:33 UTC
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Of course they want to make life easier for themselves, but not for the user. So much for Apple's user friendliness.

Reply Score: 0