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It turns out the prototype iPad we saw last week was just the tip of the iceberg in the Apple versus Samsung "patent trial of the century." Newly released photos from the case (courtesy of The Verge) show a wide variety of CAD drawings, mockups, and prototypes of both the iPhone and the iPad. You can check out photos of these prototypes at the Verge, and our sister site Engadget also has galleries of both devices.
Some of these prototypes have a design highly evocative of today's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, showing that Apple was aspiring to that aesthetic relatively early on. A storm in a teacup controversy has erupted over a "Sony" label on some of these prototypes; this has led Samsung to jump up and down crying "Gotcha!" toward Apple, as though Apple gaining inspiration for its designs from another company somehow exonerates Samsung taking that concept to ridiculous extremes.
A second prototype essentially looks like an iPod classic with a touchscreen. It's thick enough to suggest Apple potentially considered using tiny hard drives like those in older iPods for the iPhone's design -- either that, or Apple had yet to figure out how to properly minaturize the rest of the iPhone's internal components. Another iPhone prototype seems more inspired by the aluminum iPod nano of the era and appears broadly similar to Nokia's current Lumia series. Yet another shows the "teardrop" form factor that many rumormongers expected in 2011. Weirder still is this octagonal iPhone that looks like something people might carry around on Battlestar Galactica.
The last iPhone prototype looks like the elongated 16:9 display iPhone virtually everyone expects this fall, but with a
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