The real reason iPhone didn’t inherit iPod’s click-wheel UI

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iPhonealternate
Yep, this is how the iPhone could have looked -- had project P1 taken off.
Photo: Apple

Former Apple VP Tony Fadell has dispelled the popular rumor that Apple had two rival teams working on different user interfaces for the first prototype iPhone.

Video of two prototype operating system builds for the original iPhone surfaced this week as Apple celebrated the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. One of the UIs proposed adopted the iPod’s click wheel interface and, according to Fadell, it actually worked really well.

There was just one problem: It sucked at making calls.

This is the iPod-style UI originally built for iPhone

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Good thing Apple didn't ship this.
Good thing Apple didn't ship this.
Photo: Sonny Dickson

The original iPhone nearly came with a digital click wheel that mimicked the iPod’s interface, according to video of an alleged prototype running the software that has not previously been made public.

Former Apple engineers confirmed in the past that Apple created a click-wheel-based solution for the iPhone’s software during the early stages of development, but until now, no one outside Apple had seen what it looked like.

Apple Ordered To Pay $3.3 Million For Infringing On Japanese Inventor’s Click Wheel Patents

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ipod_clickwheel_games

Apple was hit with a Y330 million (about $3.3 million) bill  by the Tokyo District Court on Thursday after the company was found guilty of patent infringement. Japanese inventor Norihiko Saito was awarded by Presiding Judge Teruhisa Takano after the court ruled that Mr. Saito’s patent, which had been filed in 1998, covered technology for the Click Wheel controller Apple added to the iPod back in 2004.