The original iPhone didn't always look so good, as these early prototypes show

Once upon a time, the original iPhone looked like the missing link between an iPod and something vaguely resembling an older smartphone. Indeed, the OG iPhone's elementary school graduation photo, shared by Ken Kocienda – to whom we owe the iPhone's on-screen software keyboard that practically everyone else copied – isn't all that flattering. But that doesn't matter, as the blocky, lumpy prototypes you are seeing were important milestones towards accomplishing the basic blueprint for virtually all smartphones that followed.

Ken Kocienda, who's still at Apple after 16 years (according to his LinkedIn), kept these early prototypes inside a drawer in his desk. They were called "Wallabies" inside the company, though no one can tell why. What do you think about the Wallabies? While we're still fond of our classic iPods, for they remain terrific music players even in the age of streaming, we're sure glad to have moved on to more elegant designs.


Related phones

  • Display 3.5" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1400 mAh(8.00h talk time)



1. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

They don't look that good even now imho .

5. Bankz

Posts: 2543; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Like seriously? The iphone 4 series is a timeless classic that was probably the best designed phone of all time. The iphone 5 series is also a timeless classic that was ahead of its time and made a fashion statement, probably second only to the iphone 4 series. The iphone 6 series became the most copied smartphone design of all time with a trend setting 2.5D glass design. The iphone 8 is shaping up to become a state of the art object that'll shake up the smartphone landscape again. Theres a reason people identify design, class and pop culture with the iphone in the tech industry.

6. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

Agreed , i actually forgot the iPhone 4 and 4s. They were truly great industrial designs. 5 and 5s also were good. iPhone 6 was a shocker to me when launched, i hated it back then and even now. .. people copied them because they were so popular and not because the design was spectacular.

10. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

We have similar thoughts on this one. I personally think the best looking ones are the 5/5S/SE, and the worst ones are the 6/6S/7.

9. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

While the design of the 4/4s looked good, it was also the most fragile design they used. I like a good looking design as much as the next guy, but I prefer they also be able to take a few drops without having to get them repaired. I'm not a fan of glass backs on devices for that reason. You have to have glass on the front, there's no getting away from that, but that's no reason to double the chances of damage occuring. You're sacrificing structural integrity for asthetics.

11. fiji.siv

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 25, 2015

"The iphone 4... was probably the best designed phone of all time." Antennagate?

2. NoAllegiance unregistered

I bet if Apple used these designs today... They would still have a shortage in supply.

7. AmashAziz

Posts: 2923; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I don't think so.

3. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Why is this news?

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Expect this until the new iPhone reveal. The same thing happened during the 5 year anniversary for the iPhone, this year is the 10 year anniversary.

4. ahmadkun

Posts: 586; Member since: May 02, 2016

Mmmmmmm .. i'm imagining if those were the original iPhone .. how wold introduction video would be ( THE ALL NEW REVOLUTIONARY PHONE WITH ON-SCREEN SOFTWARE KEYBOARD AND CIRCLE HOME BUTTON COLORED HIGH DEFINITION ALL FACE SCREEN ( 140P ) DIAMOND GRAY , AND MILK WHITE ONLY FOR 999.99$

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