Check out the image to the right.

That's a recently released photograph of an Apple-built phone prototype, which could be an ancestor to the Cupertino company's extremely popular iPhone.

The all-white landline device, which was styled by Apple IIc designer Hartmut Esslinger, sports a rather large built-in touchscreen that dwarfs the displays found in the iPhone and iPad.

Unfortunately, it required a stylus to operate, which could explain why the device didn't make it into production - the late Steve Jobs was never fond of styli, you see.

More, more, more

These images form a tiny part of Stanford University's vast collection of Apple-related documents and doodads, which were donated by The Big A shortly after Steve Jobs returned from exile in 1997.

There are numerous other yet-to-be-released prototypes that resemble current Apple gadgets among Stanford University's collection, including a mock-up that's purported to look a fair bit like the company's iPad.

Mashable [via Digital Trends]