April 19, 2010

4th Gen iPhone...? (Real)

The past few days oversaw more iPhone buzz, and that's because website Engadget purportedly released some "leaks" of the upcoming iPhone 4G prototype that was found somewhere in San Jose in an iPhone 3G case.
At first it was claimed to be a Japanese knock-off, but the claim was retracted and said to be false (unless that Japanese counterfeiter made an NDA, which is silly). Now, a lot of factors make this model a rather legitimate prototype, especially because of strong evidence that Apple has been working on features that complement a front-facing camera, which is something this brick has. Also, it has the company's proprietary 30-pin connector which can only be found on official iPods and iPhones (knock-offs rely on USB connectors).
The back of the device has the model numbers and memory count crossed out, which if memory serves correctly, is the norm for these models. The only thing that can determine its legitimacy is the underlying operating system, which in a prototype may, or may not be, looking similar to this:
However, reports say that the actual OS is not functional at all, which leaves the question of legitimacy in limbo at this point.

Engadget points out further that this may even be the model that was leaked alongside the iPad! Mere moments before Jobs' announcement in January, Engadget was able to post a few pictures of the Apple slate, and they turned out to be extremely accurate.
Still, the reported prototype doesn't really correlate with trademark Apple design metaphors. For one thing, there's a removable battery, and there are plenty of lines that do not conform with the unibody manufacturing process. Now, I guess that if it's an early prototype, Apple will want to cut research and development costs by having a flexible prototype that they can scrutinize so they can actually conceptualize the real final look of the product, but it's still hard to say that the model really is a true blue prototype that was out in the wild. Also strange is the reported "80GB" of storage that is in the actual device. Perhaps this will be the new "shocking" model that will replace the 32GB model (and the 32GB model will replace the 16GB model ala the iPod touch right now)?

Also contributing to the strangeness of it all is that no one's reported to have committed suicide yet. Not that there's anything particularly good nor funny about that.

*EDIT: Trusted Apple blogger John Gruber of Daring Fireball also reports that the iPhone may or may not possess a glass back which is a rather strange choice. Hmm, better be more careful with those iPhones if that claim is true. A reader of his points out a 2006 Apple patent that involves a "ceramic enclosure that is radio-transparent". Hmm, Apple doesn't always use its patents, but that doesn't mean it will never use them.

*EDIT 2: Gizmodo got their paws on the very same prototype, citing a bigger battery, better buttons, and a higher resolution screen. It may very well be the real deal.

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