Photographs of unreleased prototypes for the iPhone 2G were posted on Twitter, indicating that Apple was considering different positions for the mute switch, as well as engraving the button itself.
Apple went to great lengths to create what it believed to be the ideal smartphone with the original iPhone 2G, that work including building prototypes. In images shared by @DongleBookPro on Twitter, these prototypes gave Apple designers a better idea of what the final product would look like, allowing for modifications before mass production began.
All three prototypes pictured are extremely similar in size and design, with the rear including details ranging from cellular and network details to stickers with more informationon on that particular unit. At this point in production, the units included the usual Apple logo, but not all had the engraving or regulatory capability indicator.
A close-up of the mute switch on all three devices shows some of the tiny variations between the units, with the position of the button changing slightly. The button surface is also shown with a small bell engraved on it, as a clue to users as to what the button can do.
Another image shows iPhones powered on and equipped with Apple’s internal diagnostic tools, including “SkankPhone,” a basic user interface that allowed basic functions to be tried out without using the final user interface design. Other icons are also visible for AT Command, Burn-In, Operator, Soundwave, and Rumble, along with a graphic suggesting that users can connect iPhone using a USB cable to a Mac or PC. running iTunes.
Before producing prototypes that look like the final product, engineers typically worked on more abstract prototypes. One of these boards surfaced in 2019, revealing an “exploded” view of the iPhone’s internal components and connections for easier development.
This latest batch of images from @DongleBookPro follows a similar release a week ago, which suggested the first-gen iPod touch may have had a black coating similar to the 2012 Mac Pro.