Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish.
The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has “the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro.” Had the finish been selected for the final product, it would have been the first metallic glossy black finish to be shipped on an Apple device.
The glossy black Mac Pro was announced at WWDC in 2013, with a radical cylindrical re-design. The design proved to be highly divisive, and the device has often been unofficially identified as the “trashcan” Mac Pro.
The first-generation iPod touch was released in September 2007. This prototype device, with no Apple logo on the rear, appears to vary considerably from the final released product. It retains the same plastic cut-out in the top-left corner, 30-pin connector, and lock button. Apple ultimately chose a mirror finish, which was similar to other iPods available at the time. The final mirror finish was criticized for its susceptibility to scratches.
Apple’s glossy black finishes have similarly been criticized for durability. Apple warned users that its glossy Jet Black iPhone 7 would see “fine micro-abrasions” with use and instructed concerned customers to use a case, but no similar warning was given about other iPhone 7 colors.
Apple has experimented with glossy black finishes a number of times, such as on the iPhone 3G, Jet Black iPhone 7, and Space Black Apple Watch, in addition to the 2013 Mac Pro. The only remaining Apple device sold in glossy black is the Space Black Apple Watch in stainless steel or titanium.
@DongleBookPro regularly posts images of unreleased Apple devices and prototypes.