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Apple summons Purple iPhone prototype as defense against Samsung

New documents filed by Apple in its patent infringement case against Samsung on Monday show another iPhone prototype that predates the Sony-inspired model discovered last week.

Images of the prototype, code named “Purple,” show a model built by Apple that includes many of the features that ultimately ended up on the iPhone, which was released in 2007.

That counters a claim that emerged last week in Samsung’s trial brief that Apple copied Sony’s designs while putting together the iPhone.

Rumor roundup: The new iPhone

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Samsung made the claim in its filed trial brief and included photos of an iPhone prototype built in early 2006 based off Sony’s design style including the Sony logo on its back.

“Apple seeks to exclude Samsung from the market, based on its complaints that Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone,” the South Korean company said in its brief, adding: “Contrary to the image it has cultivated in the popular press, Apple has admitted in internal documents that its strength is not in developing new technologies first, but in successfully commercializing them.”

But now Apple is refuting that claim with Purple, which was built in 2005. According to The Verge, which first reported on Purple, the prototype includes most of the “hallmarks” of the iPhone while the Sony iPhone was just "an ‘enjoyable’ side project.”

The Verge also reports that the case’s judge has decided not to allow Samsung to present the Sony phone during the trial, but seeing the two prototypes serves as an inside look at the way Apple put together its flagship product.

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