Skip to main content

Early iPhone prototype is fugly, huge, not very phone-like

Early iPhone prototype is fugly, huge, not very phone-like
Call, text, surf the web - and you can sleep on it!
Audio player loading…

Huge, chunky, ugly slabs of grey aren't exactly the design aesthetic we've come to expect from Apple in its line of iDevices, but these photos show how the iPhone started out as just that.

The pictures of this early iPhone prototype come from an ex-Apple employee who shared them with verbose tech blog Ars Technica.

The device shown has more in common with an iPad than an iPhone, with dimensions of 5-inches x 7-inches - and thickness-wise it's closer to a MacBook with a depth of 2-inches to contend with. Not exactly pocket-friendly.

iPhone prototype

Is that an iPhone in your pocket... [credit: Ars Technica]

But it was never designed to be - this early model was intended to allow devs to nail down what would eventually become iOS. And while it may seem big to us, the source pointed out, "At the time, it was really impressive seeing basically a version of OS X running on it."

It came with USB, ethernet and serial ports which were all for the same purpose and probably would never have made it to the finished iPhone, although the source notes that "at that early date, no one knew what [the final device] would be".

iPhone prototype

...or are you just really pleased to see us? [credit: Ars Technica]

We're glad the design has moved on a step or two since then, that's for sure, and we're expecting the iPhone 6 to be a little more refined.

iPhone prototype

Check out the logic board on that [credit: Ars Technica]

From Ars Technica

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.