Top secret iPhone, iPad prototype shots emerge

What might previous versions of the iPad and iPhone have looked like? Newly-unearthed shots of early prototypes give us a peek.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
The Verge

Who said lawyers are the only ones who benefit from massive lawsuits between multi-national companies? As a by-product of the proceedings between Apple and Samsung, Apple-watchers now get a slew of shots of early iPhone and iPad designs that have been unveiled in court documents.

As profiled by The Verge this afternoon, the collection includes an unusual picture frame-esq version of the iPad that sports a kickstand. There also a handful of prototype iPhone designs, including one with angular emerald-like corners, one that's like a metallic slab, and one with two-toned design on the rear, which MacRumors points out looks quite a bit like renderings that have cropped up lately for Apple's sixth-generation iPhone.

The images come on the heels of last week's de-classifying (if you can call it that) of an early prototype of the iPad. That device, which looked quite similar to the topside of a G4 iBook model, ran about an inch thick, and was shown off in a series of shots published by Networkworld and Buzzfeed.

Apple and Samsung go to trial in California beginning next week. Apple sued Samsung last April, claiming the company made "slavish" copies of its smartphones and tablet computers. The case has gotten increasingly complicated, with Samsung countersuing, and both companies piling on with more complaints against one another.

A prototype iPhone design.
A prototype iPhone design. The Verge

Included in this series of filings are shots of a device that might just have been the iPhone 4. Apple went with a modified design, but you can see the beginnings of what would become the form factor that remains today in the iPhone 4S.

Also of interest are iPhone and iPad designs that make use of what appears to be anodized aluminum with rounded corners -- a throwback to the early iPod Mini, a product Apple later replaced with the Nano.

More designs and behind the scenes look at gadgets from both companies could be on parade in the coming weeks and months, however this represents one of the largest collections of Apple product mock-ups seen outside of drawings and renderings depicted in patent filings.