The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Samsung is revealing a truckload of iPhone prototypes, among which a few versions boast curved glass and iPod nano-like designs. A former Apple employee who took the stand to testify has revealed why Apple was forced to abandon these form factors.
Doug Satzger has been an industrial designer at Apple for 12 years. He also worked at Palm in early 2009 and, most recently, he joined Intel.
Given his experience with iPhone prototypes, he was more than fitted to aid Apple’s plea that the Cupertino giant has always pursued original designs, as opposed to copying others’.
“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,” he told the court, according to NetworkWorld
“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.”
Five years ago, when the original iPhone came out, Apple not only had to use regular glass for the screen, but the technologies involving the manufacturing of curved glass were far too young and expensive.
Then Apple tried to make an iPhone that resembled some of the company’s iPod nano models. That didn’t work either, as Satzger explained.
“My recollection of it was that to get the extruded aluminum design that was applied to the iPod to work for the iPhone, there were too many added features to allow it to be comfortable and to work properly.”
“If you put an iPod up to your ear, the sharp edges, because of the processes, aren't comfortable, and you can't get antennas to work properly in a fully enclosed metal jacket. So each one of those things needed to apply other features that started.”