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There's been a lot of speculation over what the next iteration of the iPhone will offer eager to consumers. Not wanting to sink the ship, Apple has been typically tight-lipped on the matter. The announcement of OS 4.0 gave us a taste of some of the finer points surrounding the handset--multitasking, unified inboxes and a few lines of code eluding to a front-facing camera for iChat integration. These are some nice upgrades, no doubt about it, but no matter how eagerly iPhone users have been awaiting video chat or the ability to run more than one application at a time, the true 800-pound gorilla of iPhone rumors is, and has always been, what the next version of the handset's hardware will look like--and contain.
This morning, without warning, the tech site and all around internet champions over at Gizmodo walked that gorilla in on a chain for all to see with streaming video, a teardown and some insight for what has been on of the best, and arguably worst-kept secrets in the tech universe. The iPhone 4G is out in the wild, and The Giz has put it on display for all to see.
Somewhere in Cupertino, chances are Steve Jobs is probably having an aneurysm.
Looking past Gizmodo's technical teardown of the handset, which was purportedly found on the floor of a bar in Redwood City, CA last week, the phone's veracity as a bona-fide Apple prototype has been turned up to 11 through simple pieces of information.
First, an image that Engadget procured earlier this year shows the phone sitting next to another recently released piece of hardware while still in the prototype stage. You may have heard of it--the iPad. While the image is poor to say the least, one can easily discern the same lines and profile of the handset that Gizmodo has unleashed on the world this morning. That's right--it's been right under our noses for months. How a world full of fanboys could have overlooked such a thing for so long is a mystery.
Backing up the photographic evidence is a comment from Daring Fireball's John Gruber who confirmed that Apple is indeed missing a prototype handset and was very interested in getting back. Note that when we say "missing," Apple means "stolen" according to Gruber's sources.
With the hows, whos and whats out of the way, let's get to what every one reading this post is no doubt dying to know: What exactly did Gizmodo discover?
Let's take a look:
- Front-facing camera for video chat
- The back of the handset was labelled XX GB. Unfortunately as Gizmodo couldn't get the handset to do much more than be recognized by iTunes, there was no way to confirm the size of the memory.
- There appears to be a larger camera lens on the back of the phone--with flash!
- The SIM slot, now located on the side of the handset, takes a micro-SIM, just like the iPad
- Gizmodo reports that the phone's display resolution is higher, although they can't confirm if it's has the rumored 960x460 resolution discussed across the interwebs. It's of note that the screen is slightly smaller than that seen on the 3GS.
- At the top of the phone, next to the headphone jack, there is what appears to be a secondary microphone, possibly for noise cancelling purposes. What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation, at the top, next to the headphone jack.
- The volume buttons are no longer on a rocker--they have nubs of their very own!
- All of the buttons--power, mute and volume--are metallic and match the bezel that surrounds the phone.
- Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution)
- The design is far more squared off, making a move away from the soft, rounded corners we've seen thus far with the iPhone in all of its hardware versions to date.
- The handset weighs 140 grams. That's three grams heavier than the 3GS
- The phone's internal battery is 16% larger than what we're dealing with in our current iPhone handsets. This larger battery could be a reason for the extra weight. For those of you that just need to know, the battery is 5.25 WHr at 3.7V, as opposed to the 3GS which is 4.51 WHr at 3.7V.
- All of internal components, with the exception of the larger battery, have been miniaturized. Even with the smaller component footprint, the handset is chockablock full, leaving no additional space for much of anything. Upon examination, Gizmodo has found that without a doubt, the components are indeed the handywork of Cupertino.
There is very little doubt that this will indeed be the iPhone that we can expect to see brought to the fore in June of this year. Only time will tell how Apple will take the news of the leak, and how far from the prototype it will stray.
Stay tuned, you just know this is going to get interesting.