Prototype iPhone design was likely near-final - report

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The general look and feel of the prototype iPhone recently discovered and disassembled will likely be very similar to the final shipping product of the next-generation handset Apple will release this summer.



Citing sources familiar with Apple's fourth-generation iPhone, Daring Fireball's John Gruber revealed that the barcode affixed to the prototype device obtained by Gizmodo, which read "N90_DVT-GE4X_0493," gives insight into how far along Apple is in the design of its next-generation phone.



"'N90' is Apple's codename for the fourth-generation GSM iPhone, slated for release this June or July," Gruber wrote. "'DVT' stands for 'design verification test,' an Apple production milestone. The DVT milestone is very late in the game; based on this, I now believe that this unit very closely, if not exactly, resembles what Apple plans to release."



He went on to say that although Apple is extremely secretive about unreleased products, it simply must let the units be used off of its Cupertino, Calif., campus to be tested. Apple reportedly distributes dozens of near-final units for field testing months in advance. Gruber said this practice is even more widespread with the iPhone than other Apple-developed products, because of the extensive nature of cellular network testing.



"The same was true for the 3GS a year ago, and the 3G the year before that," he wrote. "The original iPhone was announced six months before it went on sale; in the interim between the January announcement and its debut in stores at the end of June, limited numbers of them were used for field testing."



Even Apple co-founder Steve Jobs himself was spotted with an iPhone in public before the device was formally released to the masses.



The fact that the next-generation prototype iPhone was smaller and more compact than the current iPhone 3GS gave Apple the ability to wrap the test device with an outer casing that made it appear to look like a current-generation device. The person who allegedly found the handset at a bar didn't realize it was wrapped in a case until the next day.







The design of the iPhone has been largely unchanged from when it was first introduced in 2007, but the lost prototype and its near-final state would suggest Apple intends to modify the look of its handset. The discovered device abandons the curves of the previous-generation models, instead adopting a flat back made of new material to improve reception. It also sported a more angular look with an aluminum border. The prototype also replaced the volume rocker with two separate buttons.







Even greater changes were found inside the device, where Gizmodo discovered shrunken components to accommodate a battery that was 19 percent larger than the current-generation model's power supply. The logic board in particular was drastically reduced in size, just one-third the size of the current model.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 181
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,249member
    I, for one, am perfectly happy with the design of the prototype and can't wait for Apple to release it this June/July.
  • Reply 2 of 181
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    I hope NOT. That's more like a design from HP than Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 181
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I hope NOT. That's more like a design from HP than Apple.



    I just hope they make the case more finished looking, like eliminate the gaps and such.
  • Reply 4 of 181
    tardistardis Posts: 90member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I hope NOT. That's more like a design from HP than Apple.



    When HP releases its HP Pad, people will say that HP copied the new iPhone's design.
  • Reply 5 of 181
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    It looks like modernist 60's design: minimalist, functional, and too the point. Gizmodo reported it feels more like the original iPhone in your hand than the 3G, which is good. The original iPhone felt more solid in the hand than the 3G.
  • Reply 6 of 181
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    The gaps are flourishes to break up chrome lines and give it some character.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    I just hope they make the case more finished looking, like eliminate the gaps and such.



  • Reply 7 of 181
    bkerkaybkerkay Posts: 138member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I hope NOT. That's more like a design from HP than Apple.



    Will the exterior design be the reason for getting the new iPhone or for what it will be capable of doing (feature set)? You can always get a case to cover it up.
  • Reply 8 of 181
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tardis View Post


    When HP releases its HP Pad, people will say that HP copied the new iPhone's design.



    That's because it's a cheap copy.
  • Reply 9 of 181
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post


    Will the exterior design be the reason for getting the new iPhone or for what it will be capable of doing (feature set)? You can always get a case to cover it up.



    As a designer, the exterior is almost as important as the technology itself.
  • Reply 10 of 181
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 447member
    Self police of a rant...
  • Reply 11 of 181
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    The gaps are flourishes to break up chrome lines and give it some character.



    I think so too. Also consider when you drop it on it's side or the corner, with the gaps and the rubber between them, it may serve the purpose of reducing the possibility of bending the frame. The little give it can absorb in most medium to hard drops may be enough to allow the outer frame to keep it's shape.
  • Reply 12 of 181
    I'm in line.
  • Reply 13 of 181
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    I think they were force to square it up to fit more in it, mainly a larger battery. It was trade off, square it up or make it curvy and fat.



    The fact that it say DVT on it. means it the final test before going into to production. Apple protos follow this scheme, EVTx where x is a number (Engineering Verification Testing) there could be more than one of these and then DVT then followed by PVT. PVT is production validation testing and those are done the month or weeks prior to being release to full manufacturing.



    The other numbers after the DVT is a serial number that allow them to track who has each unit and also indicate possible configuration information or model type
  • Reply 14 of 181
    lukaslukas Posts: 11member
    wow.. i really really really hate how Gizmodo handed all this information - even disassembly photos - of a prototype to Apple's competition..

    thats just not cool..seriously



    there is a point where journalism ends..where is those guys' decency ..?
  • Reply 15 of 181
    bkerkaybkerkay Posts: 138member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    As a designer, the exterior is almost as important as the technology itself.



    I'm a designer too. At first I was a little surprised by the design. However, the more I look at it the more I like. Are there things I would change.... probably, but that can be said about all products out there. I have the orig iPhone, and this design seems to going back to that look and more so that feel. Sleek, flat and to the point. It's actually thinner than the current model. How can that be a bad thing? I will only truly know how I feel about it once I've held it in my hands as with most objects that are meant to be held.



    But like I said before... the phone's capabilities will be the factor in either making it a success or failure. Such as the forward facing cam, more storage, better rear camera, LED flash, more battery life, faster processor not to mention the new iPhone OS 4.
  • Reply 16 of 181
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,554member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I hope NOT. That's more like a design from HP than Apple.



    Huh? The design mimics the MacBook Pro, iMac, iPad, and Mac mini. What planet are you from?



    If anything, the current iPod touch and iPhone don't mesh with Apple's current design language.
  • Reply 17 of 181
    swingeswinge Posts: 108member
    I hope it's more like the orignal iPhone. I almost always have my phone in thick, rubber cases, but my orignal iPhone still had some grip outside of the case. I love the look of my white 3GS, but it feels way more slippery...always worried I'm going to drop it... Plus, though I'm sure it's been tested a ton, the plastic backing always made me nervous about just how durable it was...I'm excited about the new design. It is very 60's modern... Can't wait to test one out!
  • Reply 18 of 181
    kiweekiwee Posts: 102member
    I like the new model.

    I just hope they put some kind of indicator on it so you can see if you've missed calls or something..



    I hate checking my phone and have multiple missed calls and messages on it..
  • Reply 19 of 181
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post


    It's actually thinner than the current model. How can that be a bad thing?



    Thinner is a good thing but ergonomy is sacrified in this design.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post


    But like I said before... the phone's capabilities will be the factor in either making it a success or failure. Such as the forward facing cam, more storage, better rear camera, LED flash, more battery life, faster processor not to mention the new iPhone OS 4.



    No complain about technology. It's as good as I can hope.
  • Reply 20 of 181
    imatimat Posts: 150member
    I agree with the necessity mentioned here of some more polishing of the design. But I like the design a lot.



    Reminds me of this: http://www.choice247.net/eshop/images/sonyericsson1.jpg



    I, for one, am happy about the design, particularly a more resistant and flat back (I don't care about the front facing camera though)
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