Original iPhone keyboard designer shows off Apple's 'Wallaby' hardware prototypes

Posted:
in iPhone
A new image shows a pair of early iPhone prototypes used during the creation of the device's software, allowing developers to build the revolutionary touchscreen keyboard that, back in 2007, was actually controversial.


Ken Kocienda, via Twitter.


While in 2017, virtual keyboards on smartphones are an assumption, 10 years ago Apple's decision to no include a physical keyboard was seen as a detriment to the device. Human interface designer Ken Kocienda and his team had to get Apple's software keyboard right for the iPhone to become a success.

Celebrating the iPhone's 10th anniversary on Thursday, Kocienda took to Twitter to share a picture of two early iPhone prototypes. There he revealed that employees working on the top-secret project called the clunky pre-release development hardware "Wallabies."

"The iPhone was a great project to work on and a great team of people to work with," the iPhone software keyboard creator wrote. "Happy 10th birthday."

Early iPhone prototypes have been revealed before, most notably via Apple's patent lawsuit against Samsung. Earlier this year, an early iPhone OS concept was also discovered.

Kocienda said the prototype devices he showed off actually sat in his desk drawer at Apple for years, until he left in May. His tweets were first highlighted by The Verge.

"When I left Apple, returning this hardware was tough," Kocienda said, "like saying goodbye to old friends."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,094member
    Cool prototypes. Makes me think we might be in for a big jump in hardware functionality in the next big iPhone release.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Now THOSE are bezels.
    chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    It's amazing how many transitions iPhone went through. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 357member
    Now THOSE are bezels.
    Yeah that first one, matches the iMac I had in 2006!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    cali said:
    It's amazing how many transitions iPhone went through. 
    I like the story of how they wanted the iPhone 4's design from the get-go but couldn't make it work with the technology of the time. Makes me think we should be looking back through old prototypes (and patent filings) to see where other products might go.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    jeffharrisjeffharris Posts: 548member
    While Apple made Wallabys… the rest of the industry made WANNABEs.  :)
    mobirdpscooter63lito_lupenaboltsfan17jony0lollivercornchip[Deleted User]watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,240member
    Top secret 'Wallaby' prototype in action
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    cali said:
    It's amazing how many transitions iPhone went through. 
    I like the story of how they wanted the iPhone 4's design from the get-go but couldn't make it work with the technology of the time. Makes me think we should be looking back through old prototypes (and patent filings) to see where other products might go.
    Not sure where you heard that. I know in the interview with the three engineers before Forestall's interview one of them said that they had to go to Steve and Ive, and the designers and explain to them that the original iPhone couldn't be all aluminum because radio signals couldn't get through the back of the phone. I think Steve really wanted the back to just be a solid thing of aluminum.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
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