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

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



1. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

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

16. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 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.

20. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 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.

2. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Like apple will ever go with a 5"phone screen

3. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

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

7. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 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.

13. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

that was a good one lol at least SAMSUNG tries to increase the screen size every time it releases a new flagship xD

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

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

5. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

there's even an ethernet port ?!

6. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 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!

8. timtimity

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 13, 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.

9. schinnak

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

looks like a dining table for dwarfs.

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

11. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 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

12. ilia1986 unregistered

Looks more useful than an actual iphone to me.

14. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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

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.


Posts: 66; Member since: Mar 11, 2013


18. PhoneArena.

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

This really looks modern and sexy

19. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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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