Among the many images of iPhone, iPad and iPod prototypes being used by Apple in its patent infringement case against Samsung, one stands out as something completely different from any other device we've seen -- an iPhone prototype with curved glass on the front and back.
Network World's iOnApple reports that Apple's first witness in the case, former designer Christopher Stringer, described the prototype as being too costly to produce -- "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." Stringer noted that the technology at the time wasn't amenable to mass production at a reasonable cost.
Another prototype that resembles a large iPod mini (below, left) was also revealed during testimony, but apparently didn't make the grade since the extruded aluminum case wasn't comfortable and "you can't get antennas to work properly in a fully enclosed metal jacket."
While the legal maneuverings of Samsung and Apple are about as exciting as watching paint dry or listening to dead crickets, the continued parade of iPhone designs that never made it to production is fascinating.