This isn’t supposed to happen. Apple is the stuff of legend when it comes to industrial design, obsessed fans, and perhaps most famously: maintaining a Fort Knox-like security around their un-released products.
So naturally when Gizmodo today announced that they had stumbled upon a completely legit iPhone in its latest incarnation, they needed to combat the inevitable reaction that they were either intentionally trying to dupe the web, or had been badly duped themselves.
So they did what they and other tech blogs do when they give readers a first look at a new gadget: they described in painstaking detail using text, photos and video.
I strongly encourage you to go read the whole article and watch the videos. But for those with less time on their hands, here are the highlights:
• 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
Of course the question in many people’s minds is, how could this have happened?
Others that spring immediately to mind are:
- Was it a spectacular case of an Apple employee leaving a prototype in a bar by accident?
- Was it intentionally leaked to gauge people’s reactions to the new design?
- What will the fallout be?
- Does anyone really care, after all it’s just a phone (there, I said it… and I think that might be the sound of every Apple fan-boy collectively gasping in shocked disbelief)
Feel free to post your comments below and watch along with the rest of world to see what happens next.
Update, Apr 20, 4:26pm EDT: Looks like we now know who lost the phone, how Apple has officially asked for it to be returned, and why Gizmodo doesn’t think anyone should lose their job over this whole strange incident.
Also, if you’re interested in some opinions on the ethics surrounding Gizmodo’s purchase and subsequent public dissection of the device, check out AndyIhnatko’s article on the subject.