Samsung v. Apple Trial Documents Reveal Early iPhone and iPad Prototypes

The plethora of court cases between Apple and other companies over trademarks, design decisions, and patents have only occasionally offered anything of interest to the average observer. Today, however, The Verge has dug up a treasure trove of images of early iPhone and iPad prototypes.

NewImage
Early designs include an eight-sided iPhone with diagonal corners, early Sony-inspired designs, and another model that has the same aluminum-based design as the old iPod Mini.

Of particular note are multiple iterations of the iPad featuring different types of kickstands, what appears to be a 16:9 model with wide handles on either side, and an eight-sided iPhone with diagonal corners. Also of interest is a slim, sleek iPhone prototype labeled the N90. The N90 was widely believed to be the codename for the iPhone 4, and while this narrow device definitely bear some aesthetic similarities to Apple's glass-and-metal design, this variant appears to feature a much smaller screen.

NewImage
One Sony-inspired design from 2006, which bears a "JONY" logo in honor of Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive, looks strikingly similar to the iPhone 4 that debuted years later.

The Verge has a number of other images scattered across two different posts. They're worth a look.

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
157 months ago
I can imagine Jony Ive's voice as he introduces that prototype: "Until now, people have—albeit inadvertently—associated octagons with authority and restriction. But what we've done is almost mentally rebrand the octagon as something that is really wonderful and liberating. And the end result is practically cathartic."



(I photoshopped/rendered something from this image (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--yWxs0pVTko/Tck-d4TzGdI/AAAAAAAAAGw/wkfmG_TjIh8/s320/Jonathan+Ive.jpg) to really drive the point home)
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
157 months ago
So even when Apple blatantly copies Sony, that is all fine and dandy, but when Sammy was apparently "inspired" by Apple, a court case is immediately started... Ok, then....

"Blatantly copies"?

Did you read the article?

The design was made by Apple, not Sony, they just decided to put a Sony logo on the concept image to imagine what a nice looking Sony phone would look like. It was just Jony Ive having a little fun, those were not meant to be publicly shown originally.

Sony smartphones from 2006 looked like this:

Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nickn Avatar
157 months ago
So even when Apple blatantly copies Sony, that is all fine and dandy, but when Sammy was apparently "inspired" by Apple, a court case is immediately started... Ok, then....
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ivladster Avatar
157 months ago
So even when Apple blatantly copies Sony, that is all fine and dandy, but when Sammy was apparently "inspired" by Apple, a court case is immediately started... Ok, then....

Copies Sony? Did you even read the article. It was Apple designer who made that, because they wanted to see what Sony phone might look like back in 2006. It was all part of research. It was inspired by Sony's design ethics, but that's not Sony's product. Read!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
barberio Avatar
157 months ago
But "The iphone design is obvious!", so why on earth are there all these alternative design prototypes... I mean, it's not like they took a long time on working out the exact way a phone like this should look, because that would mean the design patent might be a valid use of the patent system. :rolleyes:
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
east85 Avatar
157 months ago
Thank god we never got a "menu" button.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)