Spotted: Apple's next iPhone (we think)

800x600_iphone1aThis 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:

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 960×640 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

What’s changed

• 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.



  1. Kris Barnes

    You know, I don’t think I can get accustomed to a ‘more squared off’ Iphone, because all of the past Iphones have been rounded off, making for much easier grip – and sleek look.
    I would much rather them keep the same design, without screwing around too much with it, adding the improvements, and presto. They are going to get business either way, and thats what they want. More Business = More Money. But they (in my opinion) took a step in the wrong direction with this design, like I said… they should keep it (the design) the same, and add the extra goodies on to the existing design, making slight modifications so everything fits nice n’ tight.

    Today, I don’t feel like holding a giant boxxy-like cellular phone.

    Keep it original Apple!


  2. Marc Saltzman

    Great post, Simon! The forward-facing video camera for iChats is the biggest improvement, in my opinion.



  3. Tony

    It’s all commercial crap, are you children waiting for the next regurgitated meal to be shoved down your throat, DON”T NEED IT
    I am still pondering if I should get a cell phone.
    TEXTING! what a foolish way to waste your time.


    • Rob

      Tony, how old are you? I’m guessing at least 70.
      Tough to get along these days without a simple cell phone that you make calls on. As far as text messages are concerned, I send one or two a day just to get quick questions or answers.


      • Teah

        I’m 25 and do pretty well with technology… I admit I would have a very hard time with my computer and the internet. That being said, I do not own a cell phone and get by perfectly fine. I have yet to encounter a situation where I NEEDED a cell phone.


      • Bill

        no a cell phone isn’t necessary and age isn’t the deciding factor. I don’t have one but my 78 yr old mother does I have a computer but she doesn’t.

        and I agree it is only a phone


  4. Uncle D

    I’ve been waiting for Apple to install real GPS in their Iphones before I buy. At this rate I’ll have to buy the HTC if I want real GPS


  5. Jonny

    Well, I think that phone looks very sexy, and its design follows along with the rest of Apple’s product line-up. But at the same time, I can’t help but think that it’s either a fake product Apple made just to get us excited for the next iPhone or it’s a prototype we’ll never see again. After all, why would Apple let a software developer at the bottom of their ladder test it out when they’ve got tons of “higher-ups” to do that who would never lose it? Maybe its just me, but it seems Apple might be playing us…


  6. Douglas

    I like the improvements of the camera and mic but it doesnt look like an Apple. I mean squared off looks incredibly ugly. And glass backing? Thats not gonna last a week!!


  7. gamer201

    I have to say that the i phone is good but i dont get how when people go to buy a phone they try to get the i phone i mean come onnnn! its just a phone .. if ur looking to play games just buy a i phone =/ but yet again people buy phones for cam/games/text not for talking


  8. JD

    ohhhhh, ahhhhhh, eeeeee. Like several people have said, its just a phone. Do we really need to be so connected? Take a giant breath people and enjoy life


  9. cdt

    It is just another annoying cell phone. Something for the people who if they shut up for 5 minutes their brains and mouths would freeze solid. I sit on the street and watch these idiots chatting away about absolutely nothing. They should be banned for those walking.

    I vote we make them pay more for the service as well as all the non-ionizing radiation they put out. Really hope they do cause brain cancer.

    They are the reason why Toronto and a few other places have 10 digit dialing. Make them dial the whole id number they have.

    All the newest ones on the market will be in the garbage soon.


  10. Toddy Boo

    More non-news hype to distract us from the real & serious issues of the day (dying planet, religious zealots, overpopulation, etc.). This phone looks just as fragile & breakable as the rest of Apple’s products. Did they try dropping it on a sidewalk from about 4 feet up? ‘Cuz the current model can easily smash to smithereens with little incentive! And yep, I have a full-featured mobile phone w/dual vid/still digicam, text & brower capability & I am careful not to be obnoxious using it around others. It’s nearly 3 years old & works just fine (for a crappy Motorola product). And yes, text messaging can be very convenient and helpful. But I am not one of the Sheeple who will rush out mindlessly to spend $ they do not even have yet JUST to get the latest iPoop or Crackberry. Maybe when the more important issue (Canada’s cellular phone service market = klepto-poly) is adequately addressed I’ll think about upgrading…maybe.


  11. Apple Blows Joe

    I agree with Toddy Boo. I have seen people living out of welfare but carrying a “Smart Phone” around, that makes me wonder how they can afford the bill…or using a credit card and geting in debt just to fit in…ridiculous….Come on poople think first and get priorities straight