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4th Generation iPhone revealed – real or not?

With only a couple of months until WWDC 2010 where it is expected that Apple will reveal the latest 4th generation iPhone hardware, images of what is likely a prototype has found their way online, and Gizmodo was among the first to share these prototype iPhone 4th gen images with the rest of the online world.

Prototype 4th generation iPhone

The iPhone 4th generation prototype was apparently found in a bar in Redwood City (somewhere in the US) camoflaged as an iPhone 3GS, but with some clear signs that it was not the current version of the iPhone, including a forward facing camera and micro SIM access.

Prototype 4th generation iPhone

There are quite a few new features according to Gizmodo, including:

  • The back is flat (not curved like current models) and potentially made of glass, ceramic, or some sort of see-through plastic that allows for better cell signal reception and WiFi reach than the current iPhone 3GS
  • The screen looks slightly smaller but with a higher resolution
  • The whole phone looks more square with an aluminum boarder going completely around the side
  • The battery is larger, which should allow for improved battery life

Gizmodo seems quite confident that we are talking about a real Apple iPhone prototype and not one of the normal fakes. The overall finish of the prototype 4th generation iPhone feels very Apple and the components inside support that it is a real one, as several of the components are clearly marked with Apple.

Apparently the discovered 4th generation iPhone prototype was running iPhone OS 4.0 even before it was announced as the person who found the phone was able to play around with it and saw the features. However by the time other people got their hands on it Apple had remotely killed the operating system.

When connected to a computer the prototype iPhone 4th generation behaves the same way as other iPhones, including the same boot sequence  and “connect to itunes” restore functionality. iTunes also sees the device as an iPhone, and Mac OS X system profiler sees it as iPhone in restore mode but report different product identifiers than any of the other iPhones currently in the market.

Here are some of the new features found in the 4th generation iPhone prototype:

  • Front-facing chat camera, and an improved regular camera with LED Flash
  • Micro SIM, just like on the iPad
  • A screen that possibly could run a 960×640 display
  • Split aluminum buttons for volume control

Interestingly enough, Apple seems to have lost an iPhone prototype that they are very keen on getting back asap.
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