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Apple’s Next iPhone

There has been some speculation about the Next iPhone. Not anymore: ‘This is Apple’s next iPhone. It was found lost in a bar in Redwood City.

Over the weekend, Engadget posted photos of what it said might be the iPhone 4G, or the next-generation version of Apple’s phone. It said it was found on the floor of a bar in San Jose, Calif., and a tipster sent the photos into the gadget blog for posting. The pictures are sort of blurry and the device is never shown powered up, so it didn’t seem that hard to dismiss as yet another fake iPhone knockoff.

On Monday morning. Engadget’s rival blog, Gizmodo, ups the ante with its own photos and video of what appears to be the same device, though it claims it’s from “someone” who found it on the floor of a bar in Redwood City, Calif.

The Associated Press reveals that Gawker (Gizmodo’s parent company) paid $5000 to obtain the device.

Here’s the detailed list of Gizmondo findings about the new iPhone:

New features
• Front-facing video chat camera
• Improved regular back-camera (the lens is quite noticeably larger than the iPhone 3GS)
• Camera flash
• Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad)
• Improved display. It’s unclear if it’s the 960×640 display thrown around before—it certainly looks like it, with the “Connect to iTunes” screen displaying much higher resolution than on a 3GS.
• What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation, at the top, next to the headphone jack
• Split buttons for volume
• Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic

• The back is entirely flat, made of either glass (more likely) or ceramic or shiny plastic in order for the cell signal to poke through. Tapping on the back makes a more hollow and higher pitched sound compared to tapping on the glass on the front/screen, but that could just be the orientation of components inside making for a different sound
• An aluminum border going completely around the outside
• Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution)
• Everything is more squared off
• 3 grams heavier
• 16% Larger battery
• Internals components are shrunken, miniaturized and reduced to make room for the larger battery

Apple has updated the exterior drastically different from the 3G and 3GS. The new iPhone’s industrial design seems so different from the previous two generations.

While some remain skeptical that this is in fact a version of the final device, we think this is indeed the real deal. It’s even recognized by iTunes as an iPhone, although Gizmodo can’t get the phone to actually work:

According to the person who found it, this iPhone was running iPhone OS 4.0 before the iPhone 4.0 announcement. The person was able to play with it and see the iPhone 4.0 features. Then, Apple remotely killed the phone before we got access to it. We were unable to restore because each firmware is device specific—3GS firmware only loads on 3GS devices—and the there are no firmwares available for this unreleased phone. Which is another clue to its authenticity.

According to a reliable source, Apple has indeed lost a prototype iPhone and they want it back.

Apple reportedly called Gizmodo after the images of the unreleased device were posted to the internet. The prototype iPhone was reportedly left at a bar by an Apple employee. The letter reads:

It has come to our attention that GIZMODO is current in possession of a device that belongs to Apple. This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple. Please let us know where to pick up the unit.
The letter is signed by Apple’s Senior Vice President & General Counsel Bruce Sewell.

There is a big possibilty that Gizmondo will face a lawsuit, especially if they have indeed bought the phone from the “finder,” as Gruber says.

Apple is known for its secrecy about new products and tough legal approach to leaks.