Apple Built a Unique iPhone Prototype with an iPod Click Wheel

Apple first introduced the iPhone in 2007. However, prior to the release of its game-changing handset, the company was secretly developing a number of prototype models. One such prototype has now emerged, and it is, to say the least, one-of-a-kind.

Tony Fadell (via TechCrunch) shared the prototype, who was also involved in the development of the iPod in the 2000s. Fadell has recently been sharing details about his time at the Cupertino-based tech behemoth.

Prior to the first iPhone, the company apparently only had the iPod as a mobile device. So, when working on some of the early prototypes, the brand was experimenting with the idea of incorporating phone functionality into an iPod.


As a result, one of the prototypes had a one-of-a-kind design that included the iconic Click Wheel. Notably, this could also function as a number pad. According to Fadell, this early model was created by a third-party manufacturer during the early stages of “iPod Phone” development. This model included a built-in camera and a color scheme similar to the original iPhone. A swivel would allow users to quickly swap out the bottom of the iPod to turn it into a phone.

According to reports, Steve Jobs insisted that the team create an iPod phone rather than a completely new device. This was due to the success of the iPod’s iconic design, which included the Click Wheel. 

However, it was quickly realized that using the Click Wheel for the phone was not a pleasant experience. As a result, it adopted a large full-screen design and a Mac OS X-based operating system.

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