Gadget blog snags next-gen iPhone prototype

Usually, the best gadget blogs can hope for in the weeks and months leading up to an Apple product launch are blurry photos of dubious origin. The folks at Gizmodo have hit the jackpot, though, gaining possession of what looks like a genuine prototype of the next iPhone.

The device actually functions and is detected as an iPhone in iTunes, although Gizmodo claims Apple remotely disabled this particular unit. Still, based on the "Connect to iTunes" screen, the site believes the fourth-generation device will have a "much higher resolution" than the 3GS’s 480×320 display. Other novelties on the prototype include a front-facing camera, two volume buttons instead of one, a micro-SIM slot, and a bigger lens at the back.

Physically, the prototype adopts a design half-way between the existing iPhone and the latest iMacs. The black display bezel reaches all the way out to the edges, with a solid, flat aluminum border sitting below and playing host to the various buttons, ports, and slots. Unlike the iPad, though, this device doesn’t have an aluminum back—just a flat expanse of black plastic.

Gizmodo came up with a very reasonable explanation for the choice of plastic instead of aluminum at the back: wireless reception. The original iPhone did have a metal back, but like the 3G version of the iPad, it also had a black cap for the antenna to work through. A completely metallic rear just wouldn’t cut it, apparently, so Apple may have decided to go all plastic, as on the current iPhones.

Check out Gizmodo’s full article for more details about the prototype—and more evidence of it being a genuine piece of Apple hardware rather than an elaborate prank.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    I’m calling viral marketing on this one. Notice the timing? HTC incredible released and reviewed right at the same time but even ‘mainstream’ news outlets (for the internet) are picking up on the iPhone thing.

      • tesla120
      • 9 years ago

      I dont believe it is, it’s not Apple’s style to leak an entire product… not really any companys style for that matter. it would be different if they were a few pictures and maybe a spec sheet to raise chatter, but not an entire functioning (at least it was) device.

        • Skrying
        • 9 years ago

        Apple has done viral leaks before. It really is quite a common practice for many companies. Take Microsoft’s Courier for instance. The original “leak” video was almost certainly done on purpose.

        It really is one of the most effective ways to generate hype for a product. It can also be used quite effectively to steal headlines from another company’s product launch.

        I do believe, like MadManOriginal, that Apple did this on purpose. I also believe it was done to hurt the HTC Incredible launch. As for why Apple steals headlines I think that really is a simple question; great marketing plus a simplified and relatively easy to understand product lineup.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    l[<"it feels even nicer in your pants."<]l Um...

    • FroBozz_Inc
    • 9 years ago

    Everything I’ve seen states that the back is some sort of new ceramic, not plastic. The higher res screen sounds great!

    • lycium
    • 9 years ago

    what a beautiful, beautiful device! it’s such a tragedy that it runs apple software ๐Ÿ™

    • jstern
    • 9 years ago

    On this mac site that I like to go to, when it wasn’t clear whether this was real and everyone assumed it was a fake, they all hated the design. Hideous I believe was the word use over and over. But once it was discovered that this was the real deal, things suddenly changed. The mac fanboys truly amaze me. They are truly cult like. Apple can do no wrong. The mac culture, attract a certain type of person. I guess people who want to be part of a group.

      • BlackStar
      • 9 years ago

      Sheep mentality at its best.

      “Follow the shepherd, he knows where he’s taking you.”

        • jstern
        • 9 years ago

        But this is on another level, beyond that, since most people are sheep anyway. I’m too tired to properly explain, but Apple creates this idea that they… To hard to explain at the moment, but the bottom line, and I’m not bashing, it’s just an observation, but if a study was done on every Apple user, not everyone of them will have the psychological profile of the average cult member, but a much larger percent compare to the regular population will. A significant amount. And it all has to do with the culture that Apple has created, with Jobs as the leader that attracts those kinds of people. If 2% of the population have the cult like mentality, then I’ll say 10% of OSX users have it.

        One more point, as soon as Steve Jobs called Adobe lazy, I thought those Mac users were going to repeat it over and over again, weeks and months later, and they did whenever Adobe is mentioned. Jobs throws certain phrases out, and it becomes facts that must get repeated all over the internet. Truly used liked sheep. Just an observation.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    this has gone from real to not real to real again for me.

    apple is tight lipped about new products, this slip up will definitely get some people fired at the fruity bin.

    • Clint Torres
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t own an iPhone and stopped being a Mac fan sometime in the 90s but the demand for the iPhone is undeniable.

    How many other phones do you see people waiting in line for days just to be the first among their friends to own one…amazing!

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 9 years ago

    wow…gizmodo is raking the click rate revenues for the story of the year (Maybe the decade) from adisor and the rest of the macolytes.

    Steve Jobs is a master in marketing…. Excellent move from the Cupertino camp.

    • pogsnet
    • 9 years ago
      • BooTs
      • 9 years ago

      Leaked Apple prototype eh? Should we expect another story soon about someone in China “jumping” to their death “after” a visit from corporate “security guards” or maybe this time the individual will “drown themselves” in a toilet?

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 9 years ago

    I think I will buy iPhone 4 IF it has an AMOLED screen. Thank you.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 9 years ago

    Amazing device. So it gets the camera flash that my Nokia dumbphone got like in 2007. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Looks like an HTC HD2 with a small screen.

    Good luck beating Nokia and RIM, Apple. Take care with the robot that is smashing WinMo right now. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • adisor19
      • 9 years ago

      Now that multitasking has been announced and the front camera as well as the LED “flash” has been revealed, i get the feeling you’re running out of things to bash Apple on.. Could it be ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Adi

        • Arag0n
        • 9 years ago

        Well, I don’t know in your country, but on mine you have to pay 15 vs 10โ‚ฌ/month for unlimited internet access plans if you get an iPhone or whatever other device (of course the data plans are based on prices from the same operator).

        So I think that there stills many things to bash the iphone. They still out of “normal market” procedures, they still selling for fans and hype.

        They need to bring up a transparent aplication aproval procedures for example.

        And there is many more things about the apple way to work that ressembles the microsoft that bill gates managed in the lates 90’s. Closed, trying to self-define standarts and building a full ecosistem closed in windows computers to stay as the only seller on the market. They pushed the standarts of IE over the internet standarts just on the very same way that apple does with flash and html5…

        They want people to work like they want, and they blame others if they can’t get something that people expects. They need to be more open to be a cool company. It’s just a time issue that they get the same bad image that microsoft managed to get in the late 90’s, early 00’s.

        Now microsoft works much more like google, and google works a little more as microsoft. but apple it’s the new monopolium working policy.

        I hope that android and windows phone 7 can get a good market on mobile systems to get apple back to the normal business, in both. iTunes and iPhone/iTouch business models. Also I think that would be good for everyone that they stop the way they work with Mac’s, releasing the possibility to install MAC OSx on every compatible laptop and computer. They would get a lot more market share than now, but they would lose the monopolium of mac hardware. pff…

        Apple business model just sucks, it’s a good way to win money, but it’s a bad way to work.

          • adisor19
          • 9 years ago

          ” They pushed the standards of IE over the Internet standards just on the very same way that apple does with flash and html5…”

          Please try harder. HTML5 IS an Internet standard while Flash is the proprietary POS that MS used to shove down our throats back in the day(look up ActiveX). You really got your stuff mixed up in typical pc fanboi hatred.

          If you would have paid a bit more attention, you would have noticed that while Apple maintains tight control over their precious iPhone, they also make sure that it plays nice with open web standards. They adopted WebKit under their own umbrella and they have invested heavy $$ in it and have given it all back to the community, There are there open projects out there sponsored by Apple : Bonjour (zeroconf), CUPS, OpenCL, Grand Central Dispatch etc.

          Please if you wanna bash Apple, at least bash them for what they’re doing WRONG, not for what they’re doing right.

          Flash must die and Apple is just speeding up the process. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Adi

            • bill94el
            • 9 years ago

            “bash them for what they’re doing WRONG”

            Okay…how about their creation of a culture of superiority that their fanbois espouse so arrogantly.

            bil

            • Arag0n
            • 9 years ago

            I have nothing wrong with html5, I have problems with the idea that they want websites to replace the flash contenent with html5 despite they want or not, just to be compatible with their devices.

            • poulpy
            • 9 years ago

            q[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            It’s a little bit tricky to get the explanation right but it’s not just about the particulars of an open versus proprietary standard (I am guessing Apple likes open standards because they are cheaper = more money for them ๐Ÿ˜‰ I doubt it’s for a philanthropic motvie) Because while Apple does promote those standards at times they keep things *very* locked down and ‘my way or the highway’ in other regards. It is the latter which makes people compare Apple to MS.

            • poulpy
            • 9 years ago

            AFAIK his explanation couldn’t be more wrong ๐Ÿ™‚
            Apple has a very good track record AFAIK at following standards (open or not), on the contrary MS has a very poor one. I mean if only for all those years of IE bending any standard it could find they should burn for eternity and a bit more!
            Now I agree Apple tends to lock down both their software and hardware and that’s what I described as “control freak”. I understand the concept (i.e. you limit the number of variables to make the user experience what you designed for him, and everything works very well within those limits) but I don’t like it.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            You are too focused on the details and missing the larger analogy. It’s not just about the open standards, it’s about the philosophy of locking down things very tightly to the exception of competition, or using dominance (or at least mindshare dominance) in one area to gain dominance in another.

            • poulpy
            • 9 years ago

            If we’re taking a larger view about Apple then I might be yes, but on the HTML5 point which was debated I don’t see how they’re locking anybody out by pushing -with others- for a common standard to be adopted over crappy Flash.
            Anyway, no biggie ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Arag0n
            • 9 years ago

            Do you know they are pushing their own video codec for the html5 video tag because the standart hasn’t defined yet properly witch video codec you should use, and the main use for html5 it’s beeing to deliver video for iPad or iPhone and they are just using video tag for their own video codecs, so the html5 websites use a propietary video codec in order to deliver video?

            Do you know that it will ban small broswers to be developed because they will lack the funding for a properly html5 implementation without video tag and they won’t be able to build and open for downloads a site that has a browswer with codecs for a video format that they didn’t paid the royalties to use?

            do you still thinking that they are pushing the standart or they are using to to their own proposes?

            • poulpy
            • 9 years ago

            It’s wrong again.

            #1 Apple _[

            • Arag0n
            • 9 years ago

            Standarts should be free to use, they are pushing the H.264 because they use hardware decoders on the iPhone and iPad, and there is no ogg hardware decoders in the iPhone or iPad. They are using the iPhone and iPad to push webdesigners to use H.264 to deliver video to iPad or iPhone on websites. Google has it’s own reasons, because it may be more efficient and could save google disk space or what’s the same, server maintance. I agree with the idea of use a tag that may have H.264 for some uses, but you can’t expect the whole internet to use a propietary video tag. (doesn’t matter if it’s apple own codec, or it’s apple own interest codec, they support it just to improve their advantage). The main diference between the google support and apple support it’s that apple it’s pushing users to use systems that only allow H.264 video tags in a move to get internet websites using it to deliver content NOW, to the people that has this platforms. It’s the very same move that Microsoft was playing on it’s “dark age”.

            In the other hand, we have Opera and Mozilla, that try to get the standart to an open source codec that will allow every website to use videos as they use pictures on png right now. But yeah, I can see how it’s much better a “better efficient” codec that may save 30-40% cpu usage than allow anywebsite to use it. Almost every computer can deal with the crappy flv videos right now… they will deal with ogg for sure.

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        Never, there are still the “users”.

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    Heads will be rolling over at Cupertino and while i can’t imagine Steve throwing chairs, i can imagine him ordering one of his minions to do so.

    Adi

      • cygnus1
      • 9 years ago

      that’s definitely one possibility… but i could just as easily see this phone having been planted for discovery

        • Captain Ned
        • 9 years ago

        Gizmodo’s already in the tank for Apple, so I imagine that the conversation was:

        I’m leaving this highly-valued engineering prototype on the floor of the men’s toom at 10:00 PM exactly. Synchronize watches and whatever you do, don’t be late.

      • ludi
      • 9 years ago

      No, you definitely don’t throw chairs at people in Jobs Land. The only way to dispatch an unfaithful minion is a surprise blow to the head followed by an immediate vivisection — that way nothing happens to the sweet, tasty liver.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        I smell an old X-Files episode.

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      This was done on purpose. Its ‘viral’ marketing. Does anyone really think someone would just leave a prototype phone in a restaurant? C’Mon now. Let alone Apple of all companies?

        • crsh1976
        • 9 years ago

        Dunno, back when I worked at a company with a great access to prototype devices from Nokia and Motorola (2002-04), we’d often use the snazzier models as our personal phones eventhough we weren’t supposed to even leave the office with them (not to mention not let anyone see/use them). We never got caught, and we never (to my knowledge) lost one of them, but I can see how it can happen.

        While I think Apple is indeed the grand master of contrived leaks, I can only imagine how some people will lose their head if this isn’t one of those viral marketing things.

          • Corrado
          • 9 years ago

          This just HAPPENED to end up in the hands of a gadget blog? C’mon now. If 99% of the people in this world found that phone, they’d simply pick it up, and hand it to the host at the restaurant to hold for when someone came back.

          Lets think about this. Someone finds a phone, and KEEPS IT? I dunno.

            • poulpy
            • 9 years ago

            q[

            • tay
            • 9 years ago

            What are you on about? Duck no!! If I found an iphone prototype you bet I would try and publish it on my fav tech site while making some money. Then I would return it.

            • d0g_p00p
            • 9 years ago

            It was stolen and sold to Giz if you read the articles.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 9 years ago

      What if they leaked it as part of a PR thing. They can find out what people think of it without actually having to reveal it.

      A former Apple executive has admitted that Apple has used the tactic before.

        • Prion
        • 9 years ago

        Just watch the obits. No Apple employees or insiders from related contractors? Then it must be viral marketing. Otherwise, someone screwed up and the Makuza took care of the problem.

          • Captain Ned
          • 9 years ago

          Yakuza, mia fratello.

            • Fighterpilot
            • 9 years ago

            I think he meant /[

      • potatochobit
      • 9 years ago

      he can throw the pencils

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        He can throw his used liverg{<.<}g

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          BURN!!!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This