Just as we reported yesterday, a story broke over the weekend where Engadget presented the world with images that they claimed were that of the next-gen iPhone model widely expected to be introduced this summer at WWDC. The device in question was lost at a bar in Redwood City, CA, which isn’t too far from […]
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Lost & Found: Gizmodo Gets Hands on Next-Gen iPhone, Details Emerge

Just as we reported yesterday, a story broke over the weekend where Engadget presented the world with images that they claimed were that of the next-gen iPhone model widely expected to be introduced this summer at WWDC.

The device in question was lost at a bar in Redwood City, CA, which isn’t too far from Apple’s corporate headquarters in Cupertine, CA. The story gained credibility when the recent images were compared to a leaked image prior to the iPad launch in January.

In another chapter of this bizarre story, Gizmodo has gotten their hands on this device. Here’s what they found:

What’s new
– 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 960×460 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

Gizmodo also posted a video outlining some of the changes in this new device.

Even after all of this, Gizmodo could not get the device to run, seeing as Apple has apparently remote wiped this bad boy, and it is now effectively a brick.

So, in sum, it appears that this is the new iPhone, I suspect the mass produced model will not have as many visible seams (that’s just un-Apple like to have them). I also suspect the volume buttons will change, they just seem odd, especially when compared to the iPad, which one would assume shares many of the same design elements as forthcoming iPad. They were under development at the same time after all.

Now, for the oddball story regarding how this thing ended up in the media’s hands, and not still locked away in one of Apple’s infamous secure rooms.

Gizmodo reveals–as I hinted at above–an Apple software engineer by the name of Gray Powell left the device in a bar called Gourmet Haus Staudt, in Redwood City on March 18th.

The person who ended up with the iPhone asked around, but nobody claimed it. He thought about that young guy sitting next to him, so he and his friend stayed there for some time, waiting. Powell never came back.

Gizmodo’s “source” was sitting next to Powell in the bar, picked up the device, where they claim it “seemed like a normal iPhone.” By the next morning Apple had remote wiped the device.

Now, here’s the dirty part, the AP is reporting that Gawker (Gizmodo’s parent company) paid some $5000 to acquire the device.

And if there was any doubt that this was a real device, Apple has officially requested that Gizmodo return the device.

In sum, this is a legitimate prototype. It was lost by an Apple employee, it sounds like it is on it’s way back to Apple. Still, I suspect there will be minor tweaks to the case design prior to introduction in June, otherwise, this is the next iPhone.

Images and video courtesy of Gizmodo.

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