iPhone Prototype Hits eBay

iPhone Prototype
There’s are 2 prototype iPhone’s on eBay. Apparently two models from late (49’th and 50’th week) 2006. It looks like the primary change from the two batches was trying a plastic and glass screen. I suspect at this point most of the internals were pretty close to final though they may have swapped vendors for a few of the more interchangeable parts.

Most interesting is the iPhone screenshots as one of them is operational. To keep people inside clueless as to what they are actually working on Apple minimized the number of people who knew the entire product. They allegedly did this by giving disguised software to hardware people. Since the OS is just a stripped version of OS X running on an ARM CPU software folks didn’t really need hardware to do their work. As far as I know this auction is the first time the faux iPhone OS has ever been publicly seen.

Also intersting is some of the subtitles in the UI (precursor to wallpapers). Not sure if this was entered by the hardware tester or just an internal joke by OS developers:

[Skank is the new black]
[Nine parts perspiration]
[Say hello to the Newton MessagePad 3000]
[Skankphone]

Apple prototypes do occasionally end up on eBay, it’s not that unusual for them to slip out.

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