AN EARLY iPhone prototype looked very different from the modern smartphone we know today.
Apple wowed the world with its original iPhone in 2007 — but that wasn’t the only design under consideration.
This was an early prototype for an Apple smartphone
This was an early prototype for an Apple smartphonePhoto credit: Tony Fadell
The original iPhone was absolutely tiny by today’s standards
The original iPhone was absolutely tiny by today’s standardsPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press
Former Apple engineer Tony Fadell has now unveiled a prototype Apple phone.
Fadell is credited with inventing the iPod and iPhone before leaving the tech giant in 2008.
Until 2007, Apple’s only mobile device was the iPod.
So it’s no surprise that the early iPhone prototype looked a lot like an iPod, as seen in a rare photo first shared by TechCrunch.
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Back then, the late Apple founder Steve Jobs wanted to build his own smartphone after a failed iTunes partnership with Motorola.
Fadell’s early design shows how Apple tried to put phone technology in an iPod.
This was ultimately scrapped in favor of an iPhone built from the ground up.
But the prototype has the iconic iPod click wheel.
This could even become a number pad for entering digits on the handset.
A small camera is positioned on the back.
And the screen was tiny — significantly smaller than the original iPhone’s 3.5-inch display.
“We made iPod Plus Phone,” Fadell told TechCrunch.
“You took the headset with a microphone and the one-ear thing.
“You could use the Click Wheel to select numbers and names, or you could use it to dial like a rotary phone, which meant final death.
“You couldn’t type anything because there’s no text input. But it was an iPod Classic with a phone inside.”
According to Fadell, Jobs was keen for the click-wheel system to work.
Ultimately, however, it didn’t fit the idea of a smartphone – so we ended up with the modern iPhone design.
The first Apple iPhone was announced on January 9, 2007 and only went on sale in June of this year.
It was the brainchild of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, who had only envisioned a multi-touch screen on a computer two years earlier.
At the launch event, Jobs famously said, “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone” — and he was right.
But by today’s standards, the original iPhone was a bit of crap. It only had 4GB of storage, exactly 16 times less than the cheapest iPhone of 2018.
We take apps for granted these days, but they weren’t always natural.
In fact, the original iPhone didn’t have an App Store when it launched.
That came later in 2008.
The iPhone had apps on it – Apple plans like Phone, Calendar, Weather, Notes and more.
But you couldn’t install third-party apps through the official Apple App Store until July 2008.
The iPhone was missing many features at launch, including a front camera for selfies, video recording, and even a flashlight.
In the absence of a flashlight, some early iPhone apps allowed you to set a white screen to maximum brightness.
When the iPhone came out, it had a tiny 3.5-inch screen.
In comparison, today’s iPhones typically range in diameter from 5.8 inches to 6.7 inches.
When it was first rumored – and then launched – Apple was derided by many.
People joked about making calls with a glorified iPod, thinking the lack of a physical keyboard would never catch on.
The original iPhone retailed for $499, which is closer to $669 today.
That’s actually cheaper than the actual iPhone 13, which costs $799.
The first model cost $499 – a far cry from today’s expensive models
The first model cost $499 – a far cry from today’s expensive modelsPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press
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