Although Apple's iPhone has been shrouded in secrecy, apparently some details of the interface leaked all the way back in 2004, alert viewers of the ABC television series Lost have reported.
In an episode broadcast in the US – ‘Catch-22’ - the survivors recover a bag and in it discover a satellite phone. The phone doesn't work, but the interface looked vaguely familiar to Apple aficionados.
"Those rounded square buttons, even the real Mac OS X 'Home' icon...heck, that's an iPhone!" said Dave Caolo on The Unofficial Apple Weblog. "OK, an iPhone crammed into a Newton, but the similarities are pretty striking."
Another viewer posted pictures of the Lost phone on the Flickr photo-sharing service. Comments on the posting drew both Apple and Lost fans, some with a sense of humour. "So that's why Leopard has been delayed.... Apple are [sic] getting into the prop business," said a user identified as cdgrocott.
Several people commenting on both Flickr and TUAW reminded readers that ‘Lost’ is set in 2004, when the series debuted. "It might mean that time passes slower on the island, so it's 2008 in the outside world already," one guessed.
But at least one iPhone-connection comment won't please Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
"Well, I really *hope* it's not an iPhone," said bert on TUAW. "After all, on the show, they turned it on, it worked for a few seconds, said 'Internal Error' and shut off."
Officials at ABC-TV and Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.