Apple Not A Copycat: 2005 ‘Purple’ iPhone Prototype Revealed To Show Sony Designs Weren’t Copied

Apple is involved in patent wars left, right, and center and is scheduled to meet Samsung in U.S. court today for a major patent trial. Apple accused Samsung of copying iPhone and iPad designs in April 2011, while Samsung accused Apple of similar allegations. Leading up to the trial, hundreds of early iPad and iPhone prototypes that were previously hidden have surfaced.

One such design, called “Jony,” fueled Samsung’s fire, since Samsung accused Apple of using Sony’s designs to create the very first iPhone. Since this accusation, Apple has produced early prototype designs of the iPhone from 2005 to dismiss Samsung’s claim.

In what Apple called “Purple,” the iPhone prototype predates the Jony design that Samsung wants to use as evidence in court against Apple. According to Cult of Mac, Samsung wanted to use the Jony prototype, made by Apple designer Shin Nishibori, as evidence that Apple has copied another tech company while creating the first iPhone. Nishibori is said to have been inspired by Sony’s design principles and has reportedly refused to appear in court to testify saying that he no longer works at Apple.

Apple’s lawyers, who are working on the Samsung case, have reportedly stated that the Jony prototype was just a side project that didn’t have any influence on the design of the original iPhone. Regardless, “Purple” came first and the iPhone was based on this design.

With news of the “Purple” prototype, the judge in the Apple versus Samsung trial has forbidden Samsung from using the Jony prototype as evidence against Apple.

Source: The Verge and AllThingsD via Cult of Mac
Image Credit: Cult of Mac

Kaylie lives in Ottawa and got her first Mac in 2007 and is now a fan for life.