iPhone originally called the Newton Messagepad 3000?

The iPhone with a landscape QWERTY keyboard
The iPhone with a landscape QWERTY keyboard

Two new iPhones have shown up on eBay - although they're just two prototypes of the original handset showing some interesting ideas Apple had before the original release of its phone.

A new listing on eBay has shown two different handsets - one working, and one not - apparently with model numbers that place them in December 2006, which was over a month before the original was announced.

The working model shows a number of interesting features, including a landscape QWERTY keyboard, and a development screen to allow programmers to work with the iPhone's hardware.

The working model can make calls, surf the net and even create and send text messages, although it can only access mobile versions of websites.


It also cycles through some strange screensaver messages, which were probably put there as in-jokes by the developers, including: 'Skank is the new black', 'Nine parts perspiration', 'Skankphone' and 'Say hello to the Newton MessagePad 3000'.

The menus pictured on the eBay listing show some interesting layouts, with functions scattered over the screens, not at all like the grid formation that's become so popular with iPhone users the world over.

Some commenters believe that these are just images of a program developed by an iPhone jailbreaker on their old handset as a hoax... we would never believe something that would be so fun-crushing.

Via iFun

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.