Over the weekend, Engadget published three photos of what what it said would seem to be the next generation iPhone–along with a weird tale of the phone being found hidden inside an iPhone 3G case on the floor of a bar in San Jose. Now Gizmodo has a long post based on extensive hands-on time with the same phone–although they say it’s up highway 101 in Redwood City. Giz has photographed it, and shot video of it, and dismantled it. And while we don’t know for sure whether this is precisely the phone that Apple will presumably release sometime in the next few months, it seems unimaginable that it’s a hoax or a Chinese clone or any of the other things the phone might be other than a real Apple prototype.
Gizmodo says that the phone is stuck at the “Connect to iTunes” screen–maybe because Apple disabled it remotely–but here’s what we know:
- It has a better, higher-resolution screen
- It has a front-facing camera
- It has a bigger rear camera, with flash
- It has an all-new industrial design–thinner and more angular, made from a new material that could be ceramic, glass, or plastic–more in tune with the iPad than the iPhone 3GS
- The volume buttons are discrete (Giz theorizes it’s so one can double as a camera button)
- Like the iPad, it uses a new, smaller MicroSIM card
- It has a big battery and weighs more than the 3GS
All of this is plausible, and much of it is consistent with earlier rumors from reliable sources. It adds up to what would seem to be a major upgrade–especially with iPhone OS 4 onboard. Even though Giz doesn’t say anything about key specs such as the CPU, RAM, and flash storage.
Accurate rumors about upcoming Apple products filter out. Spy shots sometimes leak. I can’t, however, remember another instance of a major product landing in the hands of a media outlet weeks before Apple was ready to talk about it. The handset is surely Apple’s property–I wonder if it’ll attempt to get it back, and what the repercussions will be for whoever was supposed to be taking care of it?