Apple's "next generation" iPhone uncovered

Apple's "next generation" iPhone uncovered

Summary: It seems that the guys at Gizmodo have managed to get their hands on what seems to be the "next-generation" iPhone.

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It seems that the guys at Gizmodo have managed to get their hands on what seems to be the "next-generation" iPhone.

I know, I know, pictures or it didn't happen. Well, here's a video:

Now, it remains to be seen if this is how the final iPhone will look when it's officially released this summer. Personally, I'm tempted to say that the outer shell might be an engineering prototype given that it looks radically different to the existing iPhone and has an industrial look to it.

Now onto the interesting bit. What's the origin of this prototype handset? The folks at Gizmodo claim that it was "found lost in a bar in Redwood City," but Apple's perspective on things is that this handset is "stolen." Further, it seems that Gizmodo paid for this handset and has had it in their possession for about a week.

So, the question is this ... is it ethical to pay for something that someone "found" (a term I use loosely here), hold said "lost" device (I use this word loosely too) device for a week, to take said device apart for the purposes of photography?

Hmmm ...

Stumbling across this is a good find, but there are some serious ethical issues to be addressed here.

Note: Some people seem to think that these units might have been "leaked" by Apple. I find this very hard to believe. Apple doesn't operate that way, and "super secrecy" is built into the company's DNA.

Also, the idea that people are walking around bars with super-secret prototype Apple hardware is also unbelievable. My guess is that this device has never seen the inside of a bar ... this has come direct from Cupertino.

Kyle Weins of iFixit had the following to say:

The phone looks very solid. I'm concerned about durability with the glass running almost to the edge of the surface with a thin plastic sheath, but it's impossible to know for sure. They may be using thicker glass to compensate for this.

The internal photos that I've seen look very much like pre-production prototype hardware, so it's hard to draw conclusions from that. They've shrunk the electronics to make the battery bigger. Battery life is Apple's #1 hardware design push right now, and the iPhone is the device they're weakest on right now, so this doesn't surprise me at all.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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17 comments
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  • All I have to say, is think about how

    many mock-ups we saw before the release of iPad. While not completely discounting the authenticity of this, I would still error on the side of caution, that this is likely a fake.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • RE: Apple's

    Hope he likes jail because he's going to be in it for theft.
    Loverock Davidson
    • somehow, I doubt it. (n/m)

      .
      lostarchitect
  • You find it more likely Steve Jobs paid Gizmodo?

    than Apple planting it for free viral publicity? They
    have $44 billion in cash, you really think they are that
    desperate for pocket change?
    etheti
  • A little suspicious

    I agree that:

    1. it is highly unlikely that someone would be hanging out in a bar with a "secret" Apple device in their pocket. I more imagine these things being transported point-to-point in a security truck.

    2. it would be a little unethical, to publish extensive details about a "secret and lost" device, when:

    a. you know who the owner is.
    b. you know how much commercial damage you could cause.

    Perhaps it is simply a leak to:

    a. pacify people who might be considering jumping to one of the other great smartphones on/hitting the market (e.g. Nexus One, HTC Incredible, HTC EVO, ...).

    b. generate buzz leading up to its announcement.

    c. create competitive confusion, as they prepare to launch something completely different.
    linuser
  • Why do I see

    Apple installing a self destruct mechanism in the future?

    *THIS IPHONE WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN 10 SECONDS...*
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Apple's

    it has already been [u]confirmed[/u] that this is a chinese clone
    salomon25
    • Source?

      I've seen no such confirmation.
      rtk
  • Viral Marketing at it's Finest! lol :D

    Apple has taken viral marketing to "Magical New Heights
    of Debauchery"!haha....

    But since it's official that iPad is their new even worse
    than the Fig Newton Failure, they have to divert
    everyone's attention from the simple fact, that all those
    Ultimate MaciPads are the new laughing stock of the
    World. We all know that all those iPad sales have been
    iPadded like Sony did with PS3's. Not giving true actual
    sales out the door. Now with that Apple locking you into a
    device that won't be able to view and use the full Web until
    2020 (HTML5 estimated finalized web standards), they're sunk!

    What's worse all the No can do's (no camera, no FLASH, no
    Java, no USB, non-replaceable battery, susceptible to
    breakage, no tethering, no SD Cards, fix non-replaceable
    or upgradeable memory, no phone) that is seen by most
    people as just a giant iPod, with limited controlled
    uses!

    Hitler had it right in that spoof.... it's just an over-
    sized iTampon or iPad that's now indeed stuck with an
    unfortunate name (iSlate would have been better)! ......but
    hey they're not as perfect as
    they attempt to represent with their marketing like in
    this ad! YES... you better believe it's leaked ad!!! ;)
    i2fun@...
    • Apple's Deceptive Decoy! lol

      Apple wouldn't have plant the real thing. Just
      make it look like the real thing and they haven't
      even revealed it it works!

      As I said all you have to do is search YouTube for
      a whole plethora of Apple iPad parodies to get the
      sense and smell of failure that's in the air for
      it, to realize that they needed to draw people's
      attention away from that!!!
      i2fun@...
  • RE: Apple's

    Video was to short and grainy you would at least expect better if you were
    really going to share something secret.
    jvlang16
  • RE: Apple's

    Here's the thing that jumped out at me from this article:

    Apple?s perspective on things is that this handset is ?stolen."

    with a link to daringfireball provided as Apple's perspective.

    Pretty sure most people always knew Gruber is on the payroll, but is it official now?
    rtk
  • RE: Apple's

    Am I missing something? All I see is 9 seconds of nothing.
    almcclymont
    • Yes.

      Try with a browser that has Flash installed, or supports HTML5.
      AzuMao
  • Situational Ethics, YES!

    So, because money supposedly changed hands it makes disclosing the iPhone prototype video unethical? If Gizmondo didn't steal it then I see no breach of ethics. Journalism has always had its unethical components. Reporters do what's necessary to get the story and to tell it first. The first to disclose the most guarded 'secrets' wins. Period. Thus, the old adage, HEADLINES sells newspapers. For those too young to remember: (Newspaper: noun - A publication issued at regular and usually close intervals, esp. daily or weekly, and commonly containing news, comment, features, and advertising). ;-)
    To some degree being a reporter requires this 'tattle-tale' mentality and 'greasing of the palms' of reliable sources to get that intel is not uncommon nor is it completely frowned upon. But the intel must be true and factual.
    Most police departments have their 'paid informants.' So does the auto industry journalists. Car enthusiasts love those top-secret magazine photos that were taken during new model track and road testing.
    Taking money for intel doesn't change the facts, neither does it make it less moral nor untrustworthy.
    Take the 'Watergate' scandal for instance. Does anyone actually think that Deep Throat didn't require some kind of payment(s) from Woodward and Bernstein? Follow that money... Even if he didn't was it less ethical to 'rat' on his superiors even if it was for the good of the country?
    Despite the ethicality of the iPrototype being stolen, lost, or paid for it's just a gray area in world of journalistic integrity.
    The REAL incentive is and always will be something much greater that drives every journalist: THE NEED TO KNOW. I want to know...and so do you or else you'd not have bothered to watch the video and read the story in the first place.
    Generally speaking, the duty to get the story told first trumps Ethics.
    During war-time we must heed the warning that 'Loose lips sink ships.' But unless the intel brings our country to ruination and the end of the world then let the truth be told.
    Sure, you may call it 'Situational Ethics' but the most timely intel most often requires payment. Just ask Judas...
    Rickyc111
    • Paying someone to do something bad is as bad as doing it yourself.

      Ethically, at least. Which is what you're talking about.
      AzuMao
  • RE: Apple's

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