Prototype click-wheel “AcornOS” running on early iPhone (video)

Last week, Sonny Dickson gave us a look at an iPhone running prototype software created by famed designer Tony Fadell. Now, Dickson is back with another video, giving us an even better look at the click wheel-inspired OS that almost ran on your iPhone.

When the iPhone was being developed, Steve Jobs tasked different teams within the company to come up with software meant to run the device. One of those was created by Fadell, who is known as the father of the iPod. This prototype OS, apparently dubbed AcornOS, featured a click wheel that took up the bottom half of the display and was used for navigating the OS.

The video also features another prototype OS that, while basic, looks more like the software iPhone owners are used to. As the legend goes, this second OS, created by Scott Forstall, beat out Fadell’s creation and eventually went on to become the blueprint for what’s used on iOS devices around the globe.

Neither of the prototype operating systems are very refined in the video, but that’s not the point. The point was to offer a very basic idea of what the iPhone’s software could look like. As is plain to see, Apple’s famed device could have looked very different.

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