Early Apple iPhone prototype photographed with large screen and several ports

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: March 11, 2013

Apple iPhone prototype

Just hours after some images claiming to show Samsung's new Galaxy S IV made their way online, photos of a purported Apple iPhone prototype have also surfaced. The device in the new shots isn't a new iPhone, though, as Ars Technica has received images showing a very early iPhone prototype that's said to be from 2005. The source of the images is a former Apple employee who worked on different projects for the Cupertino firm in the early part of the 2000s.

As far as features go, this iPhone prototype measures around five inches wide, seven inches tall and a full two inches thick, making the original iPhone and its 11.6mm-thick frame sound pretty svelte. The device has an array of ports on it that the source explains were included just to make developing the thing easier and were never actually going to make it into the final product. We can see USB and Ethernet ports, and there's also a serial port resting next to the Ethernet connector, which isn't exactly something that you often ever see on a mobile device. Also included is a Samsung-made ARM processor that is said to be clocked at 200-233MHz and, according to Ars Technica, is actually an older version of the chip that actually made it into the first iPhone.

Obviously this prototype is quite a bit different than the final iPhone that shipped to consumers in 2007, which featured a 3.5-inch display and ditched its USB and Ethernet ports for a lone 30-pin connector. The prototype unit looks like something that could've been floating around inside Apple eight years ago, though, as the large display and multitude of ports would've made it easier for the company to actually create its first smartphone and iron out any kinks that may have shown up. Considering that the iPhone 5 touts a relatively small 4-inch display in a sea of smartphones in which 4.5-inch and larger devices are becoming the norm, it's pretty interesting to see that one of the iPhone's early prototypes had a screen that's more like an iPad mini than an iPhone. Hit the link below for more even more photos of this early iPhone unit.

Via Ars Technica