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Convincing Apple phone 'leak' surfaces

updated 04:25 pm EST, Wed December 20, 2006

Convincing Apple Phone

Another illustration of Apple's greatly anticipated phone may show signs of legitimacy, according to an alleged leaked photo obtained by enthusiast site aMobileMe. The image, while far from confirmed, is remarkable for its consistency with Apple's current and projected interfaces. Notably, the design recalls previous patents issued to the computer company that are closely associated with the upcoming handset: the photo shares the rounded, aluminum body as well as a February 2nd patent for a square touchpad with gesture-based commands. The on-screen visuals also reflect Apple's fifth-generation iPod interface and would adapt the search function to text messaging.

More details and full images of the apparent leak can be found after the jump.

If legitimate, the image would signal a clear departure from the company's trademark click wheel interface in favor of a more generalized control scheme that shares responsibilities between a pad and a touchscreen.

The photo itself may help establish its origin, aMobileMe says. Resembling a product shot from Apple including the choices of font and style, the image contains the partial text "Setup note: This board should" at the bottom-right corner, suggesting early or incomplete marketing material yet to be released. The site author raises the possibility that the image may stem from an ad agency contracted to design the phone's promotional campaign.

by MacNN Staff




  1. zerroeffect

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Looks nice and clean. I actually hope this is the final design. I really, really hate clamshell designs being so prevalent. It would be nice to have a sleek candy bar style. :)

  1. Logan-five

    Joined: Dec 1969


    come on

    the posters says iPhone...

  1. aMobileME

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Link to original source

    Looks like electronista left out the link to the source it is in case you want to read it.

  1. Recto Bold

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My contract is up for renewal in March, hence I can choose a new mobey. This would be just the ticket. I've been waiting for Apple to work their magic on cellphones for a long time now, while dealing with half arsed syncing etc. so this would be fabulous. Hopefully it will have iCal integration etc. - I can't imagine it wouldn't. The gesture thing does worry me a bit, but if anyone can get it to work it's them. Maybe something good will come from Newton after all :-)

    This just looks like a large Nano (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and if this really is right then it's got to be the best looking phone I've seen.

    We shall see....

  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    One thing I may say...if this leak is real, the Apple Phone looks much cooler than I ever thought; it might be surely a blockbuster again...way to go, Apple!

  1. boazh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This thing is so "Apple" like :) So what this large pad on the bottom half of the phone? if it's a touch senstive pad, how do you know where to touch? the pictures doesn't show it... It would be soooooooooo sweet if it will have a web browser! if it does, I promis you that: I will throw my iPaq out the window :)

  1. brass2

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Obviously fake.

    1. Every iPod ever made have a common feature: almost anyone in the world can look at one and tell how to use it. I can't look at this phone and tell how to use the touch pad. It's non-obvious UI design, something Apple just doesn't do in released product.

    Assuming, the blue highlight represents the interface element with focus, it appears that it takes a lot of scrolling to get around the interface. One of the original tenets of the iPod is the efficiency of the UI. For very little hand or finger movement, you can get quite a bit done with an iPod. Just to dial the phone number displayed (which is the number for the apple store, btw), I guess one would need at least 11 separate gestures to dial the number not including taps to indicate selection That's with two digits that repeat.

    2. Judging from the layout of the text message compose screen Apple has somehow left off predictive spelling. Yea, not so much. Releasing a phone without a full keyboard and no predictive spelling is a non-starter in the cell phone universe, so it's quite hard to believe that Apple is about to do it. Add in point #1, and it's even less likely (as in: I'm supposed to hunt around for the letter I want using the touch pad the tap to indicated my selection while holding the device with a single hand and driving and you won't even help me spell the word?).

    3. It's very doubtful that iPhone is the real product name. There are three separate, live iPhone trade marks, at least one of them conflicts with Apples intended use and the owner is not linksys or cisco. Given that and the Linksys products, the probability approaches 0. Yes, this could be a test with a code name in place of the real product name but then again the product shot could also be a dummy image in place of the real image to be added later.

    4. It may be the bad reproduction of the alleged display, but I don't see any reflections of the product at the bottom of the pub shot. Check, every picture of each of their products has some amount of reflectivity at the bottom of the picture reflecting the product above it. All of them, even the iMac which has the least reflectivity but it's there underneath the stand. I can see shadows, but no reflections. The shadows don't make a lot of sense either. The products appear to be lit from the upper left, casting shadow on the right side of the device. I can't find a single case where there is obvious shadow in Apple hardware shots, but one generally expects product to be lit from above for marketing pictures. This should either cast no shadow, or cast equal shadow on both sides of the device (like the drop shadows in OS X).

    So, I'm unconvinced. This is probably pretty close, but some of the details are defiantly not right. One of the things thats likely right is the lack of buttons, but the interface shown in the picture appears to be way to comple

  1. Chris Paveglio

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no way, not buying it

    even if this were it, it's not user friendly and I would not buy it. It has NO BUTTONS for cryin' out loud. I like my cell phone because I don't have to look at it every time I want to do a fuction, I can tell by the feel of the buttons and the layout what i am touching. I also don't like the new razr phones where the keypad is so flat I can't tell where my finger is. I hope Apple designers realize this as well and make something nice, clean, but still tactile. A phone + iPod will by necessity need more buttons than just an iPod, or at least as many as a phone (15).

  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You guys don't get it

    Obviously this is incomplete marketing material, so it might NOT show everything the ApplePhone is up to, INCLUDING the name or a physical keypad.

    It might be fake, too, but I call it the coolest fake ever...if Apple releases it, it's gonna be a real blockbuster.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Just what we needed. Apple to fix the one problem most people have with a phone. The easy way you make phone calls! No more of those hard push buttons with numbers on it! No, that's too complicated. Lucky for us Apple is here to save us from ourselves. Just like they did with those oppressive and complicated two-button mice. Apple was able to give us two buttons without the mess of two actual buttons (The world was saved at the point, I believe).

    BTW, Apple, you might consider that most of the people who text message these days know keypad entry like the back of their hand. Switching to another layout that causes more work to send a quick message will not get you customers.

    But to ricardogf's point, advertising mock-ups are more about content and display, not the actual product. So there's nothing that says the name has to be correct, or the images the correct ones.

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