The celebrated patent case of Apple vs. Samsung where Apple accuses Samsung for copying patent designs of the iPad on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 led to the disclosure of previously privileged information that includes numerous prototype designs, numbering approximately 100, of the early iPhone and iPad.
In the heady whirligig of accusations and counter-accusations, a particular design codenamed “Jony” triggered Samsung’s counter-allegation that Apple copied Sony’s designs for the very first iPhone. To refute Samsung’s claim that Sony designs have been copied, Apple revealed the earlier “Purple” or what it claims to have been the iPhone prototype design from as early as August 2005.
“Purple” contains many of the distinguishable features and aspects of the iPhone product that finally hit the market. Further disclosure revealed that the alleged Sony-designed prototype called “Jony,” or the one in patent issue contention, came out later than the grandfather of all iPhone designs and is now being described as just an “enjoyable side project.”
The disclosure of the numerous prototypes that sprang from the epic patent trial gives insight as to the look of the earliest iPhone prototype. For starters, it looks a lot like the iPhone 4, but without any visible buttons. Apple stands by its counter-claim that “Purple” precedes “Jony,” and that the iPhone was based on it. The latest update from the trial has it that Samsung is now forbidden to use the “Jony” prototype as evidence in its case against Apple.