Apple wanted curved glass on iPhone but couldn’t afford it

Thanks to the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung, we have been privileged to have a look at some of the iPhone prototypes that Apple discarded in favor of the design original iPhone sported. From the designs coming out of the depositions we can have a rare glimpse of how product designing process at Apple works. In a recent deposition  Apple’s designer Christopher Stringer presented photos of an early iPhone prototype that features a curved glass. We have heard reports of Apple testing out curved glass for iPhone in the past, but this is the first time we are actually witnessing an Apple device like this.

The prototype look similar to iPhone 4/4S from above but features a curved glass that gives it an entirely different look. When asked why Apple didn’t choose to go with this curved screen design, Christopher Stringer informed the court that the cost and design features of the prototype were not liked, so the company decided to drop it.

The technology in shaping the glass, the cost relative to shaping the glass at the time, and some of the design features of this specific shape were not liked.

Regarding this particular prototype, Christopher also noted

The technology at the time had a lot to do with it. The qualities of the glass at the time had a lot to do with it. These are models — I’m trying to remember a time frame — that were before gorilla glass and before a lot of the other factors.


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