‘Death Star’ iPhone prototype gives up decade-old secrets

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Blast off to explore amazing ‘Death Star’ iPhone prototype
“Look at the size of that thing!”
Photo: DongleBookPro

Apple once made an iPhone with the Death Star in place of the usual company logo. It’s an iPhone 4 prototype — and an infamous bit of Apple history.

Watch a just-released video overview of the device to find out how it’s different from the smartphone Apple actually shipped.

Cue Darth Vader theme song

The Death Star iPhone is not a Star Wars tie-in. It’s actually the opposite. DongleBookPro, the source of the video posted Friday about the prototype, reports, “Story goes Apple was having issues with disclosure of product information at the time, so they chose this logo. Apparently, the hope is customs or other people would think it was some kind of knockoff Disney memorabilia and would consequently not leak any information as they wouldn’t know it was Apple.”

This is not the first we’ve heard of a Death Star iPhone prototype. One sold on eBay back in 2012.

Quirks in Death Star iPhone 4 prototype

The Death Star iPhone prototype is of interest to more than Star Wars fans. Those curious about iPhone history can learn a few things from it.

The device doesn’t close with screws on its bottom edge. Instead, it has a screw hole hidden in the SIM card slot. And there are other tweaks, like no ring around the rear-facing camera.

Plus, the iPhone 4 was the first Apple handset with a Retina display. But this prototype doesn’t have one.

“This also runs potentially the earliest build of iOS 4 known: 8A133,” according to DongleBookPro.

This isn’t the only iPhone 4 prototype to go down in history. An Apple employee left a pre-release unit in a bar months before the debut and it was recovered and disassembled by Gizmodo.