These Were the Early iPhone Prototypes Tony Fadell and Scott Forstall Were Working On


After posting screenshots and a video showing Acorn OS — the alternative to iPhone OS for the original iPhone — in action, Sonny Dickson has now posted photos and a comparison video of the two iPhone prototypes that were competing internally at Apple. Dubbed P1 and P2, the former was led by Tony Fadell, while the latter was led by Scott Forstall.

Sonny explains that any P device at Apple is a raw proof of concept that hardly ever gets out of the company, and are developed at the earliest stage of prototyping. These devices usually make use of raw hardware like plastic screens, with the prototype units in question also featuring incomplete home buttons and huge bezels.

The P1 project from Tony Fadell is essentially running the iPod OS on a device with a touch screen and a virtual scroll wheel. When the iPhone was still in prototype stages, the iPod was very popular among consumers, with most of them being very comfortable with its UI/UX. Then, there was the P2 project from Scott Forstall that had individual app icons, much like what we see on iPhones of today.

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.

Sonny notes that the P2 takes longer to boot since it has to load a real OS, unlike the P1 which was running a comparatively slimmer OS.

It’s well known with which prototype Apple ultimately went with, and Steve Jobs’ decision eventually turned out to be the right one since the iPhone completely changed the smartphone industry forever. With the original iPhone celebrating its tenth anniversary just a few days ago, these photos and videos could not have been released to the public at a better time.

[Via Sonny Dickson]

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