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iPhone prototype photos show what could have been – and what’s coming from the iPhone 5

The forthcoming U.S. trial between Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) in San Jose will apparently be good for more than just incessant barking from both sides. So far Samsung has rejected Apple’s settlement offer, Apple also rejected Samsung’s settlement offer, Samsung told Apple it wouldn’t have sold a single iPhone without stealing Samsung’s protected technology, and Apple accused Samsung of knowingly and purposefully ripping off its designs. It’s all been pretty entertaining. Beyond the dramatic accusations, however, new items of interest have emerged: a series of images has been uncovered that reveal early iPhone prototypes and show us what could have been — and even what will be later this year when Apple launches its sixth iPhone.

Buzzfeed has dug up a number of iPhone prototype images, including the first one pictured above. The picture shows two early designs, one that looks remarkably like the current iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S design, and a second that resembles an enlarged fifth-generation iPod nano.

The site found additional prototype images on Friday, including the one above, which somewhat resembles the sixth-generation iPhone case we’ve seen leak a number of times, and then one below, which thankfully never saw the light of day.

The Apple vs. Samsung trial is scheduled to begin next week in San Jose, California.

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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