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Earliest iPhone prototypes had tablet-sized 5″x7″ screen, tons of ports

Posted: , by Victor H.

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There is no shortage of iPhone prototype leaks on the web, but while we’ve seen some early protos, going back in time to some of the earliest iPhone development, you’d find weird tablet-sized devices with screens measuring 5” by 7” and with a ton of ports.

What you are seeing below are exactly those - early iPhone prototypes dating back to 2005, some two years before Apple released the phone that changed smartphones. Ars Technica obtained the images from an ex-Apple employee involved with hardware design in the early 2000s, but wishing to remain anonymous.

"Seems large now, but at the time it was really impressive seeing basically a version of OS X running on it," the source commented.

What’s also interesting is the fact that Apple seemed to have sketched the rough guidelines for what the future device would look like. For instance, it uses an ARM chip back then with focus on relatively good battery life performance.

For the curious ones, the chip on the images is a 200MHz one, manufactured by Samsung, while the original iPhone would get a much more powerful chip in 2007, but also made by Samsung. You’d also see a ton of ports attached to that screen, and to clear up confusion - those were used for development purposes. Take a look at that early iPhone version, looks interesting, doesn’t it?

source: Ars Technica

20 Comments
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posted on 11 Mar 2013, 07:53 3

1. mercorp (Posts: 967; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


It's actually an ipad concept.The iphone morphed out of it.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 10:05 3

16. alterecho (Posts: 1073; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


True. In an interview, Steve Jobs revealed that his original intention was to create a tablet device device like the ones from the Star Trek movies. They were working on the iPad originally and through development it struck them that it could be phone.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 18:22

20. cdgoin (Posts: 367; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Maybe thats because they saw the HTC Universal or any other WindowsMobile phone of the era..That is unless all the developers at Apple paid no attention to the real world and lived in a cloistered monk existance.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 07:55 3

2. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6263; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Like apple will ever go with a 5"phone screen

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 07:56

3. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


no apple will sue samsung for using 5 inch screen on the note ;O

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:06

7. pwnarena (Posts: 844; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


no apple will sue samsung for releasing new generation devices with the same design as the previous ones. apple should be the only one to release same design phones over and over.

i don't hate apple. let's just have some humor here.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:08

13. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


that was a good one lol

at least SAMSUNG tries to increase the screen size every time it releases a new flagship xD

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:02

4. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5258; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


I hope there won't be a physical home button again...

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:02

5. dickwyn (Posts: 586; Member since: 07 May 2012)


there's even an ethernet port ?!

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:04 1

6. pwnarena (Posts: 844; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


now the propaganda machine is running. they will say they originally intended to create a big screen phone so having a bigger screen shouldn't be alien to them. way to go spinmeisters!

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:21

8. timtimity (Posts: 196; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)


It's always interesting to see prototypes, especially very early ones like this where the prototype is huge because they use off the shelf parts before making a decision whether to custom build the necessary components.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:23 2

9. schinnak (Posts: 81; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


looks like a dining table for dwarfs.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:24 2

10. nikenturd (unregistered)


I knew it!!!! Apple invented the huge form factor phone! They came up with the idea first!
but that's an early iPad prototype aint it? :-0 were not gullible little kids you know...lol

nice one Apple, but Samsung owns your a-$$ now

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:25

11. MC1123 (Posts: 1236; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


it would make sense if they just use OS X on their devices now coz at least its a real OS with a lot of potential like what is ubuntu trying to do now and also microsoft with its windows 8

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:07 1

12. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Looks more useful than an actual iphone to me.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:22

14. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Uh oh....more fuel for the fire that everybody is copying Apple.....

I would think that's an iPad prototype than an iPhone. Oh well....shows Apple was at least thinking about it, they aren't as brain dead as some claim. Then again, there are other prototype, dev phones that are huge. T.I. Has an Android dev device that looks like a huge black berry with a qwerty keyboard

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:42

15. Aeires (unregistered)


Judging by image 3, it's way too thick to be a phone. I'm leaning towards a tablet prototype as well.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 12:17 1

17. DHILLON_ARSH (Posts: 66; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


FCCK UH APPLE
FCCK YOOOO

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 13:03

18. PhoneArena. (banned) (Posts: 28; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


This really looks modern and sexy

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 14:41 1

19. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Yea it was a TABLE "ET" .. an Extra Terrestrial object on a TABLE. they wanted to call it TABLE-ET ...

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