What might’ve been: Early iPad, iPhone designs revealed in court documents

highly confidential ipad iphone prototypes revealed in court documents 8 sidedApple likes secrecy, we all know that. It likes to keep the lid on upcoming products in the hope of creating a buzz and building expectation, culminating in a selling frenzy when the device is finally launched. It’s fair to say the approach usually works.

An upcoming patent-related jury trial involving Apple and Samsung has, however, forced the Cupertino-based tech giant to reveal perhaps a little more than it would have liked, even if it does relate to past designs and not future products.

Trawling through the trial-related documents, The Verge uncovered some images that are bound to fascinate Apple watchers, as they show what the iPad and iPhone could have ended up looking like.

For example, a few of the images show iPad prototypes with various kickstand options, a feature excluded from the final design though evidently one the company was seriously considering. Whereas Apple decided to leave such matters to third-party accessory manufacturers, Microsoft, for example, has seen fit to build a kickstand into its recently-unveiled Surface tablet.

highly confidential ipad iphone prototypes revealed in court documents kickstand

There’s also an image of an iPhone prototype named the n90 (below), which The Verge reports was the codename for the iPhone 4. It’s a rather stretched-looking device and may surprise a few observers. When you look at it, it’s not hard to see why they dumped it, with its odd-looking shape and seemingly tiny screen (let’s hope the iPhone 5 doesn’t turn out like this, eh?).

highly confidential ipad iphone prototypes revealed in court documents n90

Jony Ive and his crew were also considering a two-tone back (below) with early designs of Apple’s smartphone, a look which is rumored to be part of the iPhone 5’s design.

highly confidential ipad iphone prototypes revealed in court documents two toned

And finally, check out this hexagonal iPhone model. Cool or uncool?

highly confidential ipad iphone prototypes revealed in court documents 8 sided