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Apple’s Click Wheel iPhone Update: Here’s How It Works

iPhone Update
Image source: Screen grab from Sonny Dickson website


Apple’s Click Wheel iPhone Update: Here’s How It Works

Before arriving to the present version of the iPhone update, Apple has gone through many trial and errors in order to come up with the perfect one. And although Apple is still applying changes to the iPhone, what changes we see now have been based on a rich history of some iPhone update prototypes.

iPhone Experiments

According to Tony Fadell – resigned Senior Vice President of the iPod Division at Apple and one of the founding fathers of the iPod – in an interview with The Verge back in 2012, the company had first made three prototypes of the iPhone. Included in these is the iPod Plus Phone. The iPod Plus Phone has a little screen and a hardware screen according the Fadell which may thus be the prototype for the AcornOS.

Steve Jobs and his team planned one of the prototypes in the iPhone over the years which they call the AcornOS. It is an iOS precursor which uses a click wheel in order to navigate the phone’s user interface (UI).

But this is an on-screen wheel as compared to what Fadell describes as a hardware screen. It is the OS version of the iPods or the version of the Mac OS X. However, it lost over to the iOS which is now found all over the Apple products and devices.

iPhone Update

Image source: Screen grab from Sonny Dickson website

Read Also: iPhone 8 Update: New Model May Feature Redesign

How The AcornOS Would Have Worked

Sonny Dickson showed some exclusive videos and photos on the AcornOS click wheel based on a 2006 patent. If Steve Jobs would have gone with this design, then the device will have its display divided into two portions – one top half and the other the bottom half. The former displays the iPod UI with added phone features. It features an option for Games, Music, Dial and SMS. The latter houses the virtual representation of a clicker wheel.

Although the clicker wheel can be a probable keyboard or number pad when texting or dialing using this iPhone update and design, there have been downsides to this project. Apple may have scrapped this idea for the reason that it limits the main screen area. As Fadell said, “Sometimes you have to try things to throw it away.” That is why the AcornOS idea did not survive.

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