“Remember the very first iPhone–the one that sold for $249, had an iconic click wheel, a cool slide-out keypad, and a unique two-battery design–and which ran on Apple’s very own nationwide wireless network? No, not the iPhone that Steve Jobs unveiled at Macworld Expo San Francisco on January 9th, 2007. It didn’t have any of those features. I’m talking about the one that was an ever-changing figment of the collective imagination of bloggers reporters, analysts, and others who wrote endlessly about the iPhone in the months before anyone outside of Apple knew much of anything–including whether or not the phone existed at all,” Harry McCracken writes for Technologizer.

“I’ve been thinking about that era of blissful ignorance lately,” McCracken writes. “Coverage of Apple’s supposedly-upcoming tablet device (allegedly to be known–maybe–as iSlate) is building to a similar crescendo.”

McCracken writes, “I revisited much of the early iPhone scuttlebutt for this article. Herewith, choice bits from a bunch of old stories, with summaries of what they got right and wrong…and then some overall thoughts. The art sprinkled through this story consists of concept iPhones rendered by fans and other interested bystanders prior to the real iPhone’s debut. I’m entertained by them all–but please note that none look even a little bit like the phone that Steve Jobs brandished at Macworld Expo.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]