Want to own a piece of Apple design patent history? 9to5Mac reports that an early N90 iPhone 4 prototype is on sale on eBay, dressed up with a Poké-Ball-looking logo, and devoid of any "+ / -" ornamentation on the volume switches. It's also missing bottom screws — according to the listing, the phone uses a special clamp to hold the back on instead, although it happens to be broken. This isn’t the first such prototype we’ve seen, last month iPhone Dev Team member pytey spotted a similar phone on eBay, but it was missing this more recent device’s distinctive logo and had the standard set of bottom screws.


According to the listing, the phone is running Switch Board, the same diagnostic software from the dual dock connector iPad prototype we saw in May. Aside from the logo, this new phone’s most interesting cosmetic distinction is the word "Prototype" set in Adobe Myriad (above), the same font used in Apple’s iPhone logotype. Underneath it is a disclaimer that reads "this device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission" along with a warning that the device "may not be offered for sale or lease... until authorization is obtained." With bids starting at $4,500, the phone won't come cheap, although if you're interested it might be worth spending the $10,000 to Buy It Now rather than chance Apple's legal team shutting the auction down.

Update: That was quick. The listing for the prototype phone has been pulled. To see more of the "protologo" and catch Switch Board in action, check out the video below from 9to5Mac researcher Sonny Dickson.