Apple has revealed a new prototype design of what the iPhone looked like when it was still being conceived, as its courtroom drama with Samsung continues to unfold and intrigue the tech world.
Codenamed ‘Purple’, the design supposedly dates back to 2005 and conveniently has been submitted as evidence after Samsung alleged that Apple had stolen Sony’s idea for the iPhone’s world-beating form factor.
Apple said in its brief: “During development of the iPhone, Apple’s industrial designers created numerous concepts, including this one dated August 2005 – a rectangular shaped phone with evenly rounded corners, a band running around the midpoint of its body, a centred display on the front facet, a menu button centred below the screen, and a speaker slot centred above the screen.
“This design (code-named “purple”) predates by many months Mr. Fadell’s 2006 e-mail forwarding an article about Sony design and Sony’s new Walkman. The existence of this design conclusively rebuts Samsung’s suggestion that Apple looked to Sony for a portable electronic device that is “square with a screen,” has “corners [which have been rounded," and lacks "excessive ornamentation" or buttons."
It’s not hard to see the obvious similarities between the Purple prototype and the original iPhone, which landed about a year and a half later. Both feature a similar rectangular shape, rounded couners and a home button at the base of the screen.
"Samsung no doubt intends to distract the jury from its own copying by suggesting that Apple, too, has copied a competitor,” Apple concludes, requesting the court to disallow the Nishibori design as evidence “because this evidence is not admissible to prove the invalidity of Apple's patents."
Samsung might still question why Apple waited this long to present this design to the court, which doesn’t necessarily rebut its allegation that Apple had clearly looked to Sony for inspiration before the iPhone came to market.
The plot thickens…