Apple vs Samsung trial reveals even more iPhone and iPad prototypes

Apple vs Samsung trial reveals even more iPhone and iPad prototypes

Say what you want about Apple vs. Samsung and what it reveals about the state of the U.S. patent system, but when it comes to revealing the history of Apple's iPhone and iPad design process, it's turning into the biggest historic win to date. Dozens of prototypes, which might have spent years, decades, or an eternity locked up in the vaults beneath Apple's design labs, have now been presented into evidence, showing us more clearly than ever how iOS devices evolved, which ideas Apple ran with, and which ones they shelved. Dieter Bohn reports for The Verge:

Some of the newly revealed phones do appear to have more in common with Sony's design aesthetic than Apple's, for example "Apple Proto 87" goes for a flat, black metallic look with all the major buttons and ports on the side of the device.

"Apple Proto 0874," an iPad prototype, was particularly interesting in that it didn't go with a simple slab design, but included a thinner rail around the entire device that curves around the back on the top and bottom.

Unlike the previous "Purple" prototype, these designs are far more varied. It's admittedly surprising that the normally ultra-secretive Apple chose a litigation path that allowed all of these designs into evidence. Does it mean no elements of any of these rejected designs will ever find their way into future Apple iPhones or iPads? That Apple doesn't care if people see the past even if it one day cues the future? Or does the desire to beat Samsung in court simply trump everything else at Apple, even their traditional secrecy?

The Verge has compiled a couple of galleries worth of iPhone and iPad prototype images. Check them out via the source link below, and then come on back and tell if you like any of what you see, and if you think Apple should consider bringing any of them, or parts of any of them, back into the production pipeline.

Source: The Verge

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple vs Samsung trial reveals even more iPhone and iPad prototypes


You know, I kind of like the one on the bottom left, though I foresee problems with the headphone jack while the phone is in my pocket.

What I find really sad about these disclosures is that now, really for the first time, people (and competitors) have an inside look at the kinds of design effort that apple puts into their products. I think it's going to further spur on the copycats, not prevent them.

I agree BradM73. I am sure Apple was not happy about displaying their prototypes. It tells me how confident Apple is, that they will accomplish what they want with the case against Samsung, to forgo some secrecy.

I do beleive that Apple will have to change the design of the iPhone 5 for the currnet model. Just extending the length a 1/2 inch, will not cut it, needs to be wider as well. A wider phone would allow for a bigger keyboard, which would be welcoming for all the current Blackberry owners making the jump!

I agree that Apple should change the design of the iPhone5 more than the pictures that have been distributed recently. But you know what? There are Apple loyalists that will still buy it. I showed it to a friend of mine who is not a tech person but loves her Apple stuff... and she loved the leaked photos of the iPhone5. Said the fact that it didn't change drastically was a GOOD thing...!

I think all of these patent cases are stupid and I hope they get thrown out... but I agree that it's interesting to see all the prototypes these guys came up with.