Failed iPhone Designs

So, the big news in the tech world yesterday was the announcement of Apple’s new iPhone 5. After months of speculation, we finally bore witness to the best Cupertino has to offer. You’re probably wondering what amazing new technological marvels Apple has jammed into the Little Smartphone That Could, right? Does it have a translator for Siri? A live feed from the Mars Curiosity rover? How about something to benefit mankind in general, like a filter that stops politicians from tweeting career-ending pictures of their willies?

Sadly, no.

Okay, you say. Then how about a slightly bigger screen and a tiny new connector that will render all my peripherals obsolete? Can I at least get THAT much for my slavish devotion (and my several hundreds of dollars)?

Why, yes. Yes, you can.

Grab your tent and mortgage your house, friends, because the iPhone 5 will be available on September 21st. Maybe. (Scuttlebutt around the supply chain says manufacturing problems at Sharp could cause a display delay.) And as we all know, "display delay" is great fun to say. Also scuttlebutt. The next time I adopt a cat, I’m totally naming him Scuttlebutt. I will chase him around the house yelling, “Out of my way, Scuttlebutt!” Which has nothing to do with iPhones. So. Moving on.

Whether you love or hate Apple — and believe me, there’s no middle ground here — you just have to admire their marketing might. The blogosphere was littered with stories about the release, and there was no shortage of leaked photos or Golum-like hand wringing over possible features. Let’s face it: people just don’t get this excited about products from other companies. “I’m gonna camp out in front of Best Buy so I can get my hands on one of those sweet new Dell laptops,” said no one, ever.

In all the silicon-scented euphoria, it’s easy to overlook the fact that countless hours of R&D went into the new iPhone. So as a special treat for my loyal readers, I called up one of my old procurement buddies who now works at Apple. I asked him to share whatever he could about all the iPhone designs that didn’t quite make the cut, and this is what he sent me. You’re welcome.

Scrapped iPhone Designs:

The biPhone, version 5.wev

Same features as the iPhone 4S, but with one notable exception: the biPhone will happily pair with any provider. In fact, the biPhone frequently switches carriers based on signal strength, barometric pressure, or random whim.



The hiPhone, version 4.20

Designed for the cannabis crowd, the hiPhone featured a working butane lighter, a roach clip that fit into the headphone jack, and every episode of Scooby Doo ever made. To accommodate impaired vision function, all the icons on the home screen were oversized. Siri was upgraded with the Stoner 2.0 language interface, although designers were unable to create the “Insti-Nachos” feature requested by beta testers.



The piPhone, version 3.141592653589793238462643383ohforfuckssake

The piPhone* was every nerd’s dream, with a satellite uplink to CERN, a fully operational Geiger counter, and a super-charged processor for calculating Laurent expansion coefficients when determining hyperfunction solutions of invariant linear differential equations. Preloaded with their favorite MMORPGs and a ComicCon countdown clock, the piPhone also contained step-by-step instructions for building a freakishly accurate Lego death-star.

*Note: The piPhone did not include call capability. In beta testing, users exhibited an acute resistance to voice-to-voice interaction, so this feature was removed.



The broPhone, version 80085(.)(.)

Every guy needs a wingman, right? The broPhone’s got your back, and then some. Unlike your old roommate, the broPhone won’t put the moves on your date or convince you to prank-call your boss at 2 a.m. Siri was replaced with Biri, a bro’s best friend. Biri can tell you which ale goes best with your ranch-seasoned chicken wings, then amuse your friends with endless rounds of the “Biri, how do I hide a body?” game. Bonus for Seinfeld fans: Biri was voiced by Patrick (Puddy) Warburton.




The yoPhone, version 5.0 (but tells everyone it’s version 7.0)

Money can’t buy class—but it can buy hair plugs and a douchey convertible. Ready to party? Don’t waste your night at Club Butterface! Tap the screen, and the yoPhone scans the dance floor, alerting you to any unusually high levels of Spanx. Using the all new, low-light camera, the yoPhone provides a Relative Hottie Score (RHS) for any setting, based on median bust measurement, average BMI, and percentage of body waxed. With the yoPhone in your pocket, you’ll always know when to stay and when to blow.



The hoPhone, version 6.9

Available in the US only, the hoPhone was designed for the millions of women having non-stop orgies now that their slutty birth control is free. Everyone knows only prostitutes use contraception, so the hoPhone automatically records and uploads these trollops’ sexytimes videos for the rest of the world to watch and judge. Whores Women aren’t worthy of civil rights. Or dignity. That’s why the hoPhone comes standard with the Akinator, an app that easily determines whether her rape was legitimate or not (quick guess — it wasn’t).



Note to self: Blog entries written whilst concurrently reading Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Caitlin Moran’s “How To Be a Woman” (not to mention listening to clips of Rush Limbaugh) may take on a decidedly edgy tone.

Must. Not. Frighten. Readers.


(Special thanks to Deb Rebisz for the IM conversation (and typos, ha!) that inspired this blog post, and to Gizmodo for the frontal image of the phone.)

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