In Pictures: Top 25 iPhonies

Take a look back at the best of the Photoshopped speculation surrounding one of the most-hyped tech devices.

  • Steve Jobs would've clearly known that people would line-up for an iPhone just from the sheer amount of Photoshopped speculation that popped up on the web. Check out our picks for the top of the crop.

  • A little off the mark (and click wheel) this BlackBerry style iPhone was interesting, but probably wouldn't have had New Yorkers camping outside the SoHo Apple store in 90 degree heat.

  • Looking more like an iPhone Nano (hey, does Mr. Jobs have that trademarked yet?), this rendering has the Apple body but not the soul.

  • Americans do tend to prefer flip-phones, but we doubt these mock-ups would have created the iPhone frenzy we see now.

  • This seems to follow the idea of AppleTV, but without the core iPod features (music and video) and user interface this version quickly ends up at the bottom of the list.

  • "Cluckily" the iPhone came first instead of this egg-like mobile device. It appears this "Invasion-of-the-iPhone-Snatchers" version took "iPod" too literally.

  • When the earlier Photoshoppers imagined what an iPod-plus-cell-phone would look like, many looked to the iPod Nano as a source of inspiration. Kudos to the cool designs and addition of a camera, but the dial pads make these devices so 2006.

  • While still a member of the iPhone Nano family, this mock-up actually has the soul of the iPhone with its dial-pad-less user interface. When this version first appeared on posters in London and France (either a art designer's elaborate hoax or an early Apple marketing department goof), the advertising slogan said, "Many abilities, no buttons." Who knows, this one may still be in Jobs' pocket.

  • This one gets marks for a sleek design, but yet again the outdated dial pad shows up. It looks as if it's a iPhone Nano slapped onto LG's Chocolate cell phone (not too crazy an idea as LG ripped off Apple's click-wheel design).

  • This version, in which the body looks more like a Wi-Fi card for a laptop, captures the touch screen interface that has so many Macheads drooling.

  • Sleek design, docking device, silver body, and accessories are all marks for Apple's design team, but this version fumbles with an impossibly small click-wheel and, again, a dial pad.

  • Some of our favorites were ones that made no attempt to actually forecast the iPhone's design, but instead opted to poke fun at the frenzy over Apple invading our phones.

  • While this Bizzaro-world iPhone completely against the grain of Jobs' vision, it still is interesting to see what the iPhone may look like in an alternate universe.

  • The designer of this little gem must have thought that Sony would change the face of MP3 players with its stick, and wanted to take Apple down the same path. This design touted "Personal security mobile phone with One-Click technology." Don't think this is what Jobs had in mind when it came to a revolutionary user interface.

  • This may be a tad to distilled (almost Nano-ish), but sleek enough to make the list. Interesting that while being a mock-up, it's still better looking than many phones still offered today.

  • Admittedly off-the-Apple-mark, but still an interesting example of what the iPhone may have looked like if Jobs had released a device before the iPod had taken hold on consumers.

  • If the iPod Shuffle had become as culturally iconic as the iPod, here's what may have surfaced from Apple. This version does prove that Jobs will have to address the need to gab on the phone while working out.

  • The slide-out Qwerty pad doesn't fit in with the Apple aesthetics, but still interesting to think of what the iPhone would've looked like if Apple had partnered with Palm.

  • This spoof suggests that the world is ready to even make calls at random, sounds like it's perfect for a drunk-dialer. One drawback could be if you hadn't removed an ex's number from your list.

  • These versions were some of the first to spread via blogs with promises of "the real deal" and "insider info." Initial response was right on the money. This was spotted as a fake due to its being outside-of-Apple look. And, yes again, the dial pad rears its ugly head.

  • This looks like something more along the lines of James Bond, but still kind of cool to consider. Not sure I want an Apple in my ear though.

  • This version must have been created when the RAZR was the phone-of-the-moment. Another interesting idea, that falls short with the old-school dial pad.

  • A Chinese company released their own iPhone-esque phone ZTC 321 in hopes to sell to impatient iPhonemaniacs. I's 1.3 megapixel camera, MP3 playback, silver/metallic iPod-like backing, and a fake looking click-wheel clearly demonstrates how inferior a product it is (to any cell phone out today)

  • Techie underground insider, "Zac the Mac" claims: This device is a combination of a phone and special eyeglasses. The eyeglasses allow you to control the phone through the latest in eyeball tracking software. Setup and recognition of eye patterns takes 30 minutes. Use of the eye phone does not require the eye glasses.

  • Network World Photshop wiz kid "Stevie the Wonder" reminds of the iPhone history (or rather his story): Versions of the iPhone were in development as early as the 1950s. This archive photo was found sitting on the floor of a tree house in Cupertino. The prototype was discontinued due to the tinny quality of sound and the extremely high price of twine during the The Great Twine Embargo of Albania during the latter early half of the 1960s. A lengthy legal battle with Campbell's Soup Inc. also stymied the further development of the iCan.

  • Yes we're biased, but you've got to give props for Network World's own Keith Shaw who went to great lengths to give Network Worlders a glimpse of what Apple claims will change the world. Once again Keith searches unofficial channels in his quest to get the hottest device. This time, he receives one of the earliest 'iPhones' from his underground source.

Show Comments