Mashable and several other techie sites over the years have resurrected images from what looks to be a cross between a regular cradle phone and an iPad. According to Mashable, the 1983 Apple phone was designed by Hartmut Esslinger featuring a built-in screen controlled by a stylus. Mashable reports that the "iPhone that never was" has had a renewed interest after the Associated Press' recent tour into the undisclosed store house of prototypes and notes from Apple's early days maintained by Stanford University.
Clearly the now 5-year-and-one-day-old iPhone design made several technological advances since this version. Even at its young age though, the iPhone itself has undergone improvements almost every year.
Wired reports that the original operating system debuted in Jan. 2007, and within a year and a half, the second gen iPhone emerged adding GPS, 3G capability and the Apple App Store to the mix. As an improvement on the iPhone 3G, the next version Apple rolled out was the 3GS, which stayed true to Apple's design roots by incorporating a more advanced display and camera. In 2010, the iPhone 4G redesign was introduced, or leaked according to Wired, with a larger and even more pixel-dense display. Amid several prototype leaks in 2011, the latest iPhone 4GS was released in October and brought to the Apple-loving community Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant.
Rumors of the iPhone 5 have already begun to circulate with hints at a sleeker design or metal back, according to CNET, which keeps regular tabs on iPhone 5 rumors.