The Verge has obtained never-before-seen photos of a development board for the original iPhone, providing an interesting look back at the measures Apple took to ensure the smartphone remained as much of a secret as possible.
The large circuit board contains nearly all of the original iPhone’s components, including its processor, memory, storage, 30-pin dock connector, camera, home button, SIM card slot, and antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There are also some non-iPhone parts such as two Mini-USB connectors for accessing the baseband.
While this particular Engineering Validation Test (EVT) prototype has an iPhone display attached, the report notes that some boards were even supplied without the screen, meaning that many Apple engineers working on the original iPhone back in 2006-2007 had no idea what the handset would eventually look like.
The Verge‘s Tom Warren:
If an engineer inside Apple received a development board like this without a screen, component video and RCA connectors on the side of the board could be used to connect it to a display. Engineers could also test headphone connectivity, thanks to stereo line out ports on the side. Even the iPhone’s main camera is mounted on the board for testing, and there’s a giant space left to test the battery. If engineers didn’t have a battery connected, a DC connector at the top can be used for external power. Apple also left room for what is marked as “prox flex” for proximity sensor testing.
Nowadays, Apple uses security shields for iPhone prototypes, but this early board is a fascinating look back at Apple’s secrecy leading up to Steve Jobs’ famous introduction of the iPhone. The full article is a worthwhile read.