Early 2005 iPhone prototype had huge 5″x7″ screen

“We were excited to receive photos showing an in-house version of the iPhone from early 2005,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica. “The images to Ars through a former Apple employee who worked on various Apple hardware projects in the early 2000s and was thus exposed to some of the earliest versions of the iPhone. (He declined to be named out of concern for retribution from Apple.)”

“This early prototype has a number of ports that we’re used to seeing more commonly on computers than on mobile devices, including USB ports, an Ethernet port, and even a serial port,” Cheng reports. “Apple never intended for all of these to make it into the final product, of course—our source said that because this was a development prototype, ports like Ethernet and serial were included simply to make working on the device easier.”

Cheng reports, “The early prototype is also quite large—about 5″×7″ and roughly two inches thick. ‘Seems large now,’ our source said, ‘but at the time it was really impressive seeing basically a version of OS X running on it. From the looks of the logic board photos, Apple had a decent idea in 2005 of where the iPhone would end up, even if the final product became much more integrated.'”

Read more – and see the photos – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we all know by now, iPad came first then iPhone. iPhone was just released first. Better to teach the world the next personal computing paradigm in a non-threatening way, on their phones, instead of springing the whole shebang on them all at once.

“When the Mac first came out, Newsweek asked me what I [thought] of it. I said: Well, it’s the first personal computer worth criticizing. So at the end of the [iPhone] presentation [on January 9, 2007], Steve came up to me and said: Is the iPhone worth criticizing? And I said: Make the screen five inches by eight inches, and you’ll rule the world.” – Alan Kay

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Prototypes, and especially development breadboards are often much larger than finished products and bear no resemblance to what it might end up like. I worked in a place that developed cell phones and the prototyping system for a fairly basic feature phone was more than a foot square.

    The fundamental principle was that it should function in the same way as the intended phone and be easy to try out new ideas to see what happens. Once you got the functionality that you needed, it was eventually turned into a finished product that bore no resemblance to that breadboard version.

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