Thanks to the latest round of legal proceedings between Samsung and Apple, we’ve recently had the opportunity to check out the designs of several Apple prototypes, both for the iPhone as well as the iPad. While for us, those have provided some interesting looks into just how much work has gone towards finalizing and refining Apple’s designs, for the company itself they’re important evidence for just what ideas it had when. That’s important when we’re talking about the difference between fresh ideas and those copied from another company’s designs. The latest prototype Apple’s revealed shows a decidedly iPhone-looking handset dating all the way back to 2005, released to discredit some theories about inspiration from Sony.
Last week, images of a 2006 iPhone design contained elements supposedly taken from Sony products, and attempted to show how such a Sony smartphone might appear. As a result, it called into question just how much of the final design might have shared this Sony inspiration. These 2005 images, of Apple’s so-called “Purple” design, make it clear that it had the general iPhone look pretty well-formed long before it started looking at Sony’s gear.
That’s not good news for Samsung, which is trying to discredit claims that it copies Apple’s designs; had Apple itself been painted as a copycat, Samsung would have achieved some leverage.