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Apple created a Death Star iPhone to prevent the iPhone 4 from leaking

The Death Star iPhone contains numerous differences from the iPhone 4 that Apple ended up releasing. (Image source: DongleBookPro)
The Death Star iPhone contains numerous differences from the iPhone 4 that Apple ended up releasing. (Image source: DongleBookPro)
The iPhone 4 leaked extensively and months before Apple released it. However, the company had hoped that a novel approach would minimise leaks, which involved passing prototypes as cheap fakes.

YouTuber DongleBookPro has revealed a prototype of the iPhone 4 that Apple obfuscated peculiarly. Incidentally, the prototype contains a few rather practical design changes. Unfortunately, it is unclear how many of these prototypes Apple produced, nor how DongleBookPro obtained it.

Arguably, the most noticeable thing about the prototype is the Death Star logo in place of the Apple logo. DongleBookPro claims that this was Apple's attempt to prevent details about the iPhone 4 from leaking, which failed spectacularly after an engineer left another prototype in a bar.

Additionally, the Death Star's camera sits behind the back panel, a feature that did not make it to the final iPhone 4. Also, someone design a clear case for the device that never made it to market. The case slips over the top of the Death Star, and offers no protection to its bottom corners.

Moreover, the Death Star contains the earliest known build of iOS 4 and has no visible screws, a trademark of iPhones up to the iPhone 13 series. Instead, Apple hid a screw behind the SIM card tray, giving the bottom of the device a cleaner look than the final iPhone 4. The device lacks a Retina Display too, with DongleBookPro noting that it uses different display drivers compared to retail units.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5721 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > Apple created a Death Star iPhone to prevent the iPhone 4 from leaking
Alex Alderson, 2021-11-10 (Update: 2021-11-10)