First off, we’d like to start by posting a warning. Before reading any of the following, please ensure you have a rather large pinch of salt to hand. Check? Then we shall continue. The guys over at Gizmodo have got their hands on what they genuinely believe to be the next iPhone. In case that hasn’t quite sunk in yet, what could potentially turn out to be the iPhone 4G/ iPhone HD has been found, photographed and fondled in the wild!
The back story for this is akin to a soap opera so you’ll have to bear with us. Firstly, technology giant Engadget were contacted by an individual who claimed to have an iPhone 4G they’d found in a bar in San Jose and backed up this claim by sending over a picture of the device. The very fact that Engadget posted this story adds credibility to the device as one can only assume they are inundated with leaks, stories and more, all of which turn out to be utter hogwash. The reason Engadget were taken in by the story is a viable one; they’d spotted the device before. For those of you who didn’t follow the run up to the official Apple iPad unveiling, a leaked image purporting to be Apple’s tablet before it went public eventually turned out to be the real deal. Looking back at this image (pictured right) we can clearly see a device that mirrors the design of this latest iPhone leak in that very iPad photo. Coincidence?
At the same time, an iPhone 3GS was stumbled upon in a bar in Redwood City, California. Whilst initially this may not sound like breaking news (except for the poor unfortunate soul missing his or her iPhone 3GS) things got interesting on the discovery that the 3GS in question was actually an all new device camouflaged in a rubber case to look like it’s predecessor. How the phone got their in the first place, ended up in the hands of Gizmodo and if it’s the same device Engadget were shown is unclear, but what is clear is that the US tech site have given the device a through grilling, looked under the hood and now believe they have in their possession a genuine iPhone 3GS successor.
Gizmodo claim to have taken a thorough look inside and found numerous examples of hardware carrying Apple branding and, despite the fact the device wont power on past the ‘connect to iTunes’ screen, also found the device to behave just as an iPhone would when connected to a Mac. As for Gizmodo’s findings? Well, this new device has a front facing camera which the new SDK for iPhone OS 4.0 suggested the next phone would include. The lens for the main camera on the rear also appears larger and is now accompanied by a flash. Could the next iPhone include a 5.0 Megapixel or higher camera? We wouldn’t bet against it. Though the device wouldn’t navigate past the aforementioned “connect to iTunes” screen, Gizmodo are also fairly confident the new iPhone the have has a much improved resolution over the 3GS and quite possibly the previously rumoured 960 x 460 display, double that of the current generation. The device also sports a larger battery which should vastly improve battery life, something the 3GS is often criticised for.
Away from the possible new features and hardware lurking inside, the biggest shock is the radical new design. The iPhone 4.0, if this turns out to be the real thing, marks the first big departure in the design stakes since we first clapped eyes on the original iPhone 2G. Gone is the glossy back in favour of a glass/ ceramic back which Daring Fireball’s Jon Gruber reported that Apple had filed a patent for way back in 2006. The incredibly well connected (with Apple at least) Jon Gruber goes on to suggest that this may not be the device we’ll see when Apple officially unveils the 3GS successor and could be a “testbed frame” due to the thickness and “visible (un-Apple-like) seams, meant to fit in 3GS cases so as to disguise units out in the wild”.
So there you have it; three incredibly well connected technology journalists who, whilst not in total agreement over some of the finer details, are all in total agreement that this is the next iPhone. Having got our hopes up one too many times in the past, we’ll reserve judgement until we get our invite to the official unveiling but, today could be the day we all look back on as the first time we set eyes on the iPhone 4.0. Keep an eye on the blog and we’ll keep you up to date on any further developments.