A few days ago, notorious leaker Sonny Dickson released a series of footage and images showcasing an early wheel-based prototype of the original iPhone that eventually lost out to the beloved iOS interface we’ve all come to associate the handset with these days.
Today, Dickson shared another video which squares off the previously shown iPod-like iPhone with the winning icon-based variation that Apple ultimately opted for – which in hindsight appears to have been the right decision.
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As the story goes, Steve Jobs tasked iPod “Godfather” Tony Fadell and iconic ex-Apple designer Scott Forstall to build the operating system for the iPhone. Referred to as P1 and P2 respectively, the two prototypes eventually went head to head in 2005, with the icon-based interface coming out victorious.
While both versions ran an experimental OS with the codename ‘Acorn OS,’ the wheel-based interface offered faster performance since it used a lightweight version of the operating system. Still, the icon-based approached proved to be the more compelling variant.
When the iPhone was undergoing development, both projects ran what is know as Acorn OS and ran on the same hardware. Both teams were extremely competitive because both project teams wanted to impress Steve Jobs.
The P2 loads octopus whereas the P1 has the iPod classic logo. The P2 takes a significantly longer to load because it actually has a real OS, whereas the P1 takes much less time since the OS is slimmer.
While the clips give us a basic idea of how iOS initially came to be, it also gives us an intimate look at how Apple handles its product development internally.
Building alternative ‘P’ devices has become an integral part of the process – a principle that the Cupertino juggernaut seems to have continued to abide to even during the production of its latest iPhone 7.