Many assume that the iPhone was the primary cellphone with a capacitive touchscreen, however that’s not the case – the LG KE850 Prada was introduced a month earlier (December 15, 2006) in comparison with Apple’s unveiling on the Macworld Expo (January 9, 2007). Gross sales of the KE850 began in Might of 2007 at a value of €600 whereas the iPhone first turned accessible in June.
The design of the cellphone was a collaboration between LG and trend model Prada, which lent its title to the ultimate product. The cellphone was even bundled with a swanky leather-based case, which underlined its standing as a chunk of trend.
The shut launch and comparable design of the Prada and the iPhone didn’t escape discover. The top of LG Cellular Handset R&D Centre, Woo-Younger Kwak, was quoted saying: “We think about that Apple copied the Prada cellphone after the design was unveiled when it was offered within the iF Design Award and received the prize in September 2006.”
That’s foolish, after all, Apple can’t presumably design a brand new cellphone between September and January. No lawsuit got here out of this both means (enjoyable reality: Cisco did sue Apple as a result of it already had a tool known as “iPhone”).
The LG KE850 Prada featured a 3” display with 320 x 480 px decision (for comparability, the iPhone had a bigger 3.5” 320 x 480 px display). It solely had three bodily buttons on the entrance – pick-up, hang-up and again – every thing else was dealt with by the touchscreen.
The interface was designed to make use of along with your finger moderately than a stylus just like the PocketPCs that had been widespread on the time. The UI was principally monochrome with white define icons on a darkish background in stark distinction to the colourful and skeumorphic interface of the iPhone (we guess Prada had a hand on this minimalist design).
For texting, there was an on-screen keypad (not a full QWERTY) with T9 assist. The cellphone may ship and obtain SMS and e mail due to its tri-band GSM connection. Knowledge speeds had been comparative with with the iPhone as each featured EDGE assist, a stopgap between 2G and 3G (the Apple cellphone was a quad-band system, although).
Opera Mini may run on the cellphone, making one of the best out of the gradual information connection and permitting you to browse the actual Internet (as an alternative of WAP). There have been Workplace doc and PDF readers too, in case you acquired one in an e mail.
To be clear, this wasn’t a “smartphone” however a function cellphone as an alternative. You possibly can run easy Java apps (J2ME), video games too, however there was no Symbian or Home windows Cellular hiding beneath. Apparently sufficient, the Prada used Flash know-how for its person interface.
The KE850 Prada got here with a 256MB microSD card pre-installed (it had solely 8MB storage built-in) and you possibly can swap that with a 2GB card. The cellphone supported MP3 and AAC audio information and even had a devoted button to launch the music participant (it had an FM receiver as properly).
One other button launched the 2MP digital camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics and an LED flash. It may file 400 x 240 px movies at 15 fps, which wouldn’t have impressed anybody in 2007, however the iPhone wouldn’t get video recording capabilities till 2009’s 3GS.
The LG KE850 Prada bought one million models over the primary 18 months of availability. The iPhone outsold it fingers down, however even worse was that LG by no means launched the unique Prada within the US. Maybe that’s the reason it’s principally forgotten immediately whereas the unique iPhone remains to be fondly remembered. Plus, Apple’s contact UI was miles forward of LG’s – that was the true innovation of the iPhone, the capacitive touchscreen merely made it potential.
PS. If you’d like an additional hit of nostalgia, try our review of the Prada.