Well, it just cannot be denied that Apple used a lot of different techniques and methods for recreating iPhone and iOS gadgets. But we didn’t have the chance to look at the early iPhone prototype that Apple created while production of the original iPhones and iDevices. According to sources, Apple used the AcornOS that used a click wheel for navigating through the phone’s surface.
But the reason it didn’t come into production because Apple discarded the use of AcornOS after its initial release. It is not a surprise that Apple focused on different designs before coming to a conclusion. The interesting thing is Apple considered creating the iPhone with the click wheel interface. It is the similar interface that is used on iPod Classic.
AcornOS for iPhone prototype
The AcornOS was the internal code name for the software. It is different from the iOS that people get to use nowadays. The AcornOS had a click wheel on the touchscreen. It means the click wheel covers half of the screen, and the rest showed the apps and other display settings. When you boot up, the device shows an acorn icon. The interface looks a bit odd considering the evolution of how touchscreen devices evolved from that time.
Not a Good Option for Users
Apparently, the click wheel will appear to be the waste of screen space; it is pretty clear that Apple thought almost the same thing. In case the device was launched in the market, you would have to face a pretty hard time to use the click wheel in iPhone for selecting each character for SMS of dialing the numbers like the retro landline phones through the rotating keyboard. The interface has got options like Contacts, Dial, Recent, Music, and SMS. But you might not see a video that has no browser option in UI. Maybe the company was not ready during the time prototype was designed.
Two Major Factors
The click wheel UI is directly a copy of Apple iPod. The bottom portion of the device had the software click wheel while the upper part was a menu-based UI. According to the reports of Sonny Dickson, the multi-touch device came with an optional click wheel. It was mentioned in 2006 patent of Apple. During the design of this device in 2005, Steve Jobs considered two major factors.
The two factors were whether to expand on the iPod or whether to shrink down the OS X. To check out which designs work better, he directed iPod and Macintosh teams on opposite directions. The iPod team was led by Tony Fadell, while Scott Forstall leads the Macintosh team. AcornOS remains as an unsuccessful effort.
AcornOS was a text based OS
According to the reports of 2012, Fadell stated that there were different gestations of the iPhone prototype that they tried to create. That also included iPod plus phone. But in his statement of 2012, Fadell does not speak about the presence of On Screen Click wheel. He mentions about a hardware version that suggests, the prototype can be the virtual design of that particular layout. As stated by Fadell: [quotes quotes_style=”bquotes” quotes_pos=”center”]The biggest problem with the iPod plus phone was that we had a little screen and this hardware wheel, and we were stuck with that.[/quotes]
But the problem with the AcornOS was it was solely a text based OS. So it is a good thing that iPhone prototypes didn’t have that in the market. The problems faced by iPhone prototype users would have driven them insane.