Photos show how Apple hid the original iPod in a leak-proof design
Panic, the company behind retro gaming handheld Playdate, has shared photos of a rather unusual looking iPod. In a blog post, Panic explains that it got it hands on a prototype, albeit one that is close to the finished product. Apple produced the model shown on September 3rd, 2001, less than two months before the company announced the device. Hence, the prototype probably contains near-final hardware.
Seemingly, Apple entombed the first iPod in such a large case to minimise leaks. The prototype also contains a JTAG though, which developers would have used for debugging. Apple also wired the iPod's controls others embedded in the case, as shown below. Theoretically, the prototype could be used like any other original iPod, as Panic teased in its blog post.
Today, the iPod series lives on with the iPod Touch; Apple discontinued the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle in 2017 and the iPod Classic three years earlier. Sadly, Apple no longer obfuscates upcoming hardware in such bizarre cases. Hopefully, Panic has more prototype devices in its archives, which it claims contains 'a lot of mysteries', despite being a closet.