Photos of original Apple prototypes are continuing to surface from documents the Cupertino company has filed in their ongoing litigation with Samsung, this time courtesy of The Verge. The above-pictured iPad prototype features curved top and bottom edges, presumably to serve as hand-grips when using the device in portrait mode. I am sure the throngs of third-party protective case manufacturers are thanking their lucky stars that such a design didn’t actually make it to market, as I bet it would have been pretty rough producing cases to match those contours.
Next up, we have an iPad prototype including a pretty wacky-looking built-in kickstand, which in retrospect seems utterly extraneous considering most cases, including Apple’s own Smart Cover, fulfill this function just fine (don’t tell Microsoft I said that.)
The filing also includes a number of iPhone prototypes. Interestingly, before settling on the first iPhone with rounded corners, Apple came up with a version having jagged corners. Though it does not look exceedingly different from the final version, it just goes to show the range of form-factors Apple was considering and how nothing is out of the realm of possibility in the prototype phase.
The following iPhone prototype, however, is quite a departure from the current iterations of the iPhone we have come to know and love. It appears to resemble the old iPod Mini, with the brushed-aluminum case encompassing much of the device’s body and the rounded edges. As a bonus, you can see an early version of the iOS layout in the below image, and that Apple was toying with including the word ‘Menu’ on the home button.
Industrial design is a constant exercise in trial and error, involving throwing a number of designs at the wall and seeing which stick. Though we don’t have a chronology of these designs, it is more than likely that one or more aspects of each design were gleaned and amalgamated into the final version of Apple’s popular hardware as the design process progressed. Hit up the link below to see even more early iPhone and iPad prototypes.