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Cool Looking iPhone Prototype featuring Curved Glass Scrapped Due to High Cost and Technology Limitations

As the iOS rumor mills continue their constant churning, one occasionally hears something about curved glass and the possibility that such pieces will make their way to a future iPhone. But according to statements from a recent Apple vs. Samsung trial (aren’t those two pretty much always in court together?), shaped glass was considered for an early iPhone prototype, but ultimately the idea was scrapped due to the state of technology at the time, as well as the associated costs.

The employee who delivered this bit of info was a designer named Douglas Satzger. He explained how Apple was quite interested in using “two pieces of shaped glass,” and even referenced a prototype known as model 0355 (pictured)…. Looking at the prototype, it would seem that the time frame for Apple messing with curved glass must have been at or around the design of the iPhone 4—either that, or they put aside the general shape of the prototype and then resurrected it without the curves at the time of the iPhone 4.

Here is Satzger on why we never got a curved iPhone:

“The technology in shaping the glass, the cost relative to shaping the glass at the time, and some of the design features of the specific shape were not like… 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.”

We’re not here to speculate on how this info will affect whatever trial Apple and Samsung are tangled up in, but it’s interesting to note that the designers experimented with curved glass before some of the recent advancements (such as the aforementioned gorilla glass)… With this evidence of Apple’s high level of interest, do we now have reason to expect a curved iPhone sometime in the future?


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