Early iPhone, iPad designs revealed in court filing

As the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit heads to trial, court filings reveal never-before-seen images of early versions of the iPad and iPhone.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Photographs of other iPhone design models Apple considered. All Things D

Ever wondered what the thought process must have been like for Apple's designers in coming up with the early iterations of the iPhone and iPad? Or if there were any crazy versions that never made it to the shelf?

Now, thanks to the Apple vs. Samsung patent court case, you can take a look at some of the early sketches and prototypes of these devices by way of public court documents.

According to Ina Fried at All Things D, Apple filed several documents Saturday that include dozens of hand-drawn and computer-generated sketches of early iPhone and iPad designs, along with photos of early mock-ups. There are pictures of an elongated iPhone, and others showing a version of the device with hexagon-shaped sides. Additionally, there are several images of the iPad with angled or rounded edges. More photos can be seen in a gallery Fried put together.

The photos come after a collection of early design shots was unveiled last week in a separate filing. This earlier crop of photos shows the iPad with a kickstand, along with several prototype iPhone designs, including one that looks like a metallic slab and another with a two-toned design on the rear.

Photos of early prototypes of Apple's iPhone. All Things D
The Apple and Samsung patent suit is set to go to trial in federal court in San Jose, Calif., tomorrow. (CNET's Josh Lowensohn will be there to bring you the latest.) Apple sued Samsung last April, claiming Samsung made "slavish" copies of Apple's smartphones and tablet computers. The case has gotten increasingly complicated, with Samsung countersuing, and both companies piling on more complaints against each other.

Throughout the pretrial back-and-forth, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh for the Northern District of California has tried to pare down the case by getting the companies to resolve some of their differences out of court. But it's been to no avail. The companies have butted heads over everything from the claims presented in the case to how things will be presented in the courtroom.

According to GigaOM, Judge Koh sided with Apple on Friday in a pretrial decision on whether to give the jury instructions on how to interpret images depicted in Apple patent paperwork. She said the drawings "speak for themselves" and that the jurors should use "the eye of an ordinary observer" to decide whether Samsung copied them or not.

As the trial moves along, most likely more designs and behind-the-scenes looks at gadgets from both companies will be on display. But for now, this newest crop of images represents one of the largest collections of Apple product mock-ups revealed to date.

Photographs of other iPhone design models Apple considered. All Things D