See the very first iPhone prototype: The Apple design was 2 inches thick and had a huge 5″x7” screen

Before the slim and sleek iPhone we’ve all used to know and love (or hate), there was a much bulkier and bigger prototype that was about the same size as the iPad Mini.

All us Apple fans have seen many iPhone prototypes appear on the web over the years, most of which were of nearly the same size and design of the iPhone released in 2007 or the later models.

Not this one.

The technology news and information website Ars Technica recently received photos showing an in-house version of the iPhone from early 2005.

The images were sent to Ars Technica by a former Apple employee who worked on various company hardware projects in the early 2000s and was able to witness some of the earliest versions of the iPhone first-hand.


The early prototype included 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. Apple never intended for all of these to make it into the final product, of course—Ars’s source said that because this was a development prototype, ports like Ethernet and serial were included simply to make working on the device easier. Still, “at that early date no one knew what [the final device] would be,” the source emphasized, highlighting the constantly changing nature of Apple’s development process.


The early prototype is also quite large—about 5″×7″ and roughly two inches thick. “Seems large now,” the 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.

The current iPhone 5
The current iPhone 5

The ARM chip looks like a variant of the Samsung S3C2410. Indeed, the chip shown above was clocked at 200-233MHz, while the first 2007 iPhone used a 620MHz chip underclocked to 412Mhz.

Would you have bought the iPhone it was 2 inches thick? Tell us below in the comments.

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