The 10 weirdest Apple concept art designs

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Apple concept art. These fantasy Apple designs offer a glimpse of the products Apple could make if it wasn’t constrained by reality

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  • The iPhone claw
  • Folding iPhone
  • Time Band
  • Projection iPhone
  • Ring Clock
  • Two screens
  • iPhone Wrist
  • Magic iPhone
  • Flip Phone
  • Original Phone
  • More stories
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iPhone concept art: claws for concern

Apple itself is famously secretive about its plans for future products, but gossip and speculation naturally rushes to fill the information vacuum - and the web isn't short of ideas about what Apple should make next.

One aspect of that is something we call 'concept illustrations': fantasy designs by artists who feel they've got a strong idea for how the next iPhone, iPad or whatever should look. And while Photoshop is much easier to learn than actual industrial design, these concepts sometimes offer radical, interesting and challenging ideas about what Apple could do. (See our iPhone 6c, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPad Air 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro roundups for examples of what's out there.)

That's the theory, at any rate. In reality, the world of Apple concept art can occasionally be a crazy and deranged place.

We start our journey through the weird and wonderful world of Apple concept art with this iPhone claw design by Ciccarese Design. What could be more fashionable than a claw-handed iPhone? Most things, it turns out.

Federico Ciccarese

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Apple itself is famously secretive about its plans for future products, but gossip and speculation naturally rushes to fill the information vacuum - and the web isn't short of ideas about what Apple should make next.

One aspect of that is something we call 'concept illustrations': fantasy designs by artists who feel they've got a strong idea for how the next iPhone, iPad or whatever should look. And while Photoshop is much easier to learn than actual industrial design, these concepts sometimes offer radical, interesting and challenging ideas about what Apple could do. (See our iPhone 6c, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPad Air 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro roundups for examples of what's out there.)

That's the theory, at any rate. In reality, the world of Apple concept art can occasionally be a crazy and deranged place.

We start our journey through the weird and wonderful world of Apple concept art with this iPhone claw design by Ciccarese Design. What could be more fashionable than a claw-handed iPhone? Most things, it turns out.

Federico Ciccarese

 

iPhone: A flat and flexible concept

At first this looks relatively sane; Apple likes thin and flat phones. But then you realise this folds out, origami-style, to transform into an iPad. Curved screens do exist, although this stretches their capabilities somewhat.

Behance

 

Time Band: Scully's idea for the Apple Watch

This one isn't just an imaginary Apple product. It's an imaginary Apple product by Apple itself.

The Time Band was published in the Japanese magazine Axis back in 1991 by Apple's then CEO John Sculley, no less. We’re not wholly sure why he advertised this concept of the Apple watch to the Japanese. It was never made and bears little reality to any Apple product since, or to the Apple Watch.

Wonderful Engineering

 

Projection iPhone: the whole phone in your hand

Why bother with a real phone when you can just project one on to your hand?

We can't tell whether this is genius or madness.  

Yanko Design

 

Ring Clock: the watch

The Ring Clock imagines a world in which Apple doesn't just stop at the Apple Watch, but wants to ensure every item of jewellery can tell the time.

Szikszai Gusztáv

 

Apple Watch: why stop at one screen?

This Apple Watch/iWatch concept looks fairly straightforward until you look a bit closer. Why has it got two screens? One's square; one's round! Did they imagine Jony Ive wouldn't be able to choose between the two?

James Ivaldi

 

iPhone Wrist: where's the phone gone?

Imaginary invisible Apple devices do look ever so pretty, but Jony has to squeeze some electronics in there somewhere.

Healthgauge

 

Magic iPhone: the intersection of mouse and mobile

The Magic Mouse looks cool; the iPhone is cool. This Magic iPhone should be double cool, but it just looks like it would wobble all over the place.

Ciccarese Design

 

Flip Phone: going back to the 1990s

Before the iPhone was announced there was no shortage of mobile phone and iPod nano mashups. What makes the Flip Phone interesting is that this was designed after the iPhone was revealed.

Inside are two screens. Why? Who knows?

Concept Phones

 

Before the iPhone, this was Apple's concept

It turns out that Apple was thinking about making a phone way back in the 1980s. This early concept for an Apple Phone was by designer Hartmut Esslinger and his firm Frog Design. He designed these concepts for Apple and published them at a later date in his book, Ingeniously Simple.

Apple never made this clamshell phone. We rather wish they had.

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