Earlier this month, Sonny Dickson shared a collection of images and videos featuring an of the iPhone with an early iPod-style operating system called “Acorn OS,” based on a clickwheel interface.
The iPod-like software was developed by “iPod Father” Tony Fadell, who shared some new details on its creation with The Verge in an attempt to clarify the backstory behind the software.
Click Wheel-based OS vs. the Icon-based OS that went on to become iOS
According to Fadell, the longstanding story suggesting there were two teams at Apple (one led by Fadell and one led by Scott Forstall) competing with one another to develop the iPhone’s OS isn’t quite accurate. There were multiple UI possibilities being explored by both the hardware and the software teams, who were working together.