Recently, images of an iPhone prototype from the year 1983 were released, which seems like the ancestor of the popular device.
The image shows that the device had a touchscreen interface but it's a landline device having an all-white handset. Also shown is a built-in screen which had to be controlled via a stylus.
This 1983 device was designed by Hartmut Esslinger for Apple. The same influential and very creative designer also lend a hand to produce the Apple IIc computer system, which was the first portable computer system manufactured by Apple notes Digital Trends (opens in new tab).
The touchscreen of the device overshadows the iPad and iPhone touchscreen in terms of the size. The images are from Stanford University's huge collection of Apple documents that were closely guarded secrets before the university decided to give access to few organizations and journalists.
The documents were part of archives that was donated by the company in 1997 right after Steve Jobs joined the company again. There are a huge number of prototypes waiting for release which are very similar to the present products of the company. In fact, there is a prototype which even resembles the Tablet devices.