Apple’s original iPhone prototype surfaces online, and it has a click wheel

It might be hard for many of us to remember that the iPhone, though Apple’s most lucrative device, wasn’t its first mobile hit in the tech world.

The original version of the iPhone, which Apple tested before developing its first touchscreen iteration of the iconic device, recently surfaced online, and it bears some resemblance to the smartphone giant’s final design for the smartphone.


While the prototype contains some features similar to the first generation iPhone, Sonny Dickson reports that the device’s most notable feature is its iPod-like click wheel.

Furthermore, the entire user interface appears to be taken from Apple’s original iPod line. The software, apparently dubbed Acorn OS, contains an on-screen click wheel on the bottom half of the screen and a menu on the top half.

These images were discovered through one of Apple’s patents, International Application number PCT/US2006/008349. The patent was filed in 2006 after the iPod era and before the dawn of the iPhone. 

[source]Sonny Dickson[/source]