Prototypes

Check out stealth case for iPhone prototypes Apple uses to prevent leaks

More than six years ago, an Apple engineer mistakenly left an iPhone 4 prototype on a bar stool in a nice German beer garden in Redwood City, California. The rest, as they say, is history.

The random dude who originally found it didn’t really have a clue he’d gotten hold of Apple’s biggest secret at the time as the prototype device was cleverly disguised as an ordinary iPhone 3GS.

Australian leakster Sonny Dickson gave MacRumors a closer look at a special stealth case Apple uses to prevent leaks and conceal handset prototypes during transport between its Cupertino headquarters and manufacturing partners in China.

Foxconn setting up Shenzhen facility to help Apple create gadget prototypes

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group is building a new research and development facility in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen to help Apple build prototypes of new products, Nikkei Asian Review reported Wednesday. According to two people familiar with the matter, plans call for the new facility to be located next to Apple’s upcoming research and development center in Shenzhen.

This is what the iPhone’s interface could have looked like

New photos and a video have surfaced online showing an early-stage prototype of the original iPhone with a click wheel interface. Noted tipster Sonny Dickson is behind the leak, who says Apple called the operating system “Acorn OS.”

As you can see in the images, Acorn OS’s interface closely resembled that of the iPod, with a touchscreen click wheel and a small gray menu. You can also see phone functions like Dial and SMS, and features like Contacts and Notes.

Designer’s book ‘Keep it Simple’ highlights early Apple phone and tablet prototypes

In a follow-up to his 2012 book ‘Design Forward,’ industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger released ‘Keep it Simple’ late last year. The book talks about the collaboration between Esslinger and Steve Jobs during the mid-80s, which led to the creation of several iconic Apple products.

For a little context, Esslinger founded the design firm ‘Frog’ in 1969, which was contracted by Apple in 1982. Most notably, the firm developed the ‘Snow White’ design language for Cupertino company, but it was also responsible for designer a number of lesser known prototypes…

WSJ: Google developing tablet with advanced 3D imaging capabilities

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Google is building a new tablet with advanced 3D imaging capabilities. The device is being developed as part of the company’s ‘Project Tango,’ which produced a smartphone back in February.

Citing sources familiar with the project, the news outlet says that the tablet has a 7-inch display and is equipped with two rear cameras, infrared depth sensors, and advanced software that can capture precise three-dimensional images of objects…

Photos of alleged prototype for Google smartwatch surface

Both Apple and Google are believed to be working on wearable devices right now with plans to release them before the end of the year. And while we’ve seen zero physical evidence of Apple’s iWatch project, some photos of an alleged Google smartwatch prototype just surfaced.

Android Police has posted photos of what appears to be a Motorola-branded smartwatch in an early development stage. The site says the device would have debuted with the “Google Watch” moniker as part of the Nexus family, but believes Google chose to go a different route…

Purported prototype of original iPhone sells for $1500 on eBay

An alleged iPhone prototype sold on eBay this morning for a staggering $1500. The handset appears to be in excellent condition, and the screenshots provided by the owner show the device running what looks like Apple’s internal diagnostic software.

The seller specifically calls it an ‘original iPhone engineering prototype,’ with signal strength measurements etched on the rear casing. And he says he’s selling it because his wife told him he had “too much stuff” and he needed to reduce his collection…

Photos claim to show Apple prototype of crocs-style iPhone 5s case

Apple caused quite a bit of commotion this September when it unveiled two new custom cases for its two new iPhone models. The 5s case is boring for the most part, made of leather, but the 5c case and its crocs-like design drew a number of oohs and aahs.
In our review, we praised the case for its construction, but questioned the placement of the rear holes as they let part of the ‘iPhone’ label show through. Well interestingly enough, a new report claims Apple was working on a crocs-like case for the 5s as well…

Rare iPhone 4 prototype spotted on eBay, yours for $10,000

What’s the going rate on eBay for a rare iPhone 4 prototype running internal testing software? Apparently it’s the same as a factory-sealed first-gen iPhone: $10,000.

The handset is of the 32GB, GSM variety, and carries a model number of N90AP. It’s described as a prototype/tester unit, and has a couple of interesting features…

Apple worked on curved-glass iPhone, but production was prohibitively expensive

This Apple vs. Samsung litigation may be the patent trial of the century, but to fans it’s also a treasure trove of valuable information concerning the company’s industrial design and craftsmanship, something Apple never detailed voluntarily.

One of the more interesting nuggets from yesterday’s deposition by Apple’s designer Christopher Stringer highlighted two interesting prototypes that Apple eventually passed on: one sporting a shaped glass and the other featuring all-aluminum enclosure akin to the iPod…

Early-2000 iPad prototype Steve Jobs trashed

Wouldn’t you like to see what Apple’s earliest iPad prototype looked like? Now you can, thanks to NetworkWorld which uncovered a deposition by Apple’s design guru Jony Ive containing photos of a three dimensional mockup of a tablet that Apple produced as part of the discovery process some time between 2002 and 2004.

It’s referred to as the 035 mockup and depicts a thick device made of plastic and without the physical home button. It’s a far cry from today’s iPad, but at the time must have been pretty futuristic. Looking at these pictures, we’re happy that Steve Jobs axed the tablet project a couple times due to weight, excessive power requirements and sluggishness exhibited by the early prototypes…