Daring Fireball's John Gruber, a blogger known to have some crazy insider connections within Apple, is posting that the prototype iPhone in Gizmodo's possession "resembles what Apple plans to release" this June or July, when the next iterations of the iPhone line would likely land.
He points to the bar codes on the prototype as his proof:
one of the barcodes attached to the unit read "N90_DVT_GE4X_0493". According to several sources (of mine) familiar with the project, "N90" is Apple's codename for the fourth-generation GSM iPhone "DVT" stands for "design verification test" The DVT milestone is very late in the game; based on this, I now believe that this unit very closely, if not exactly, resembles what Apple plans to release.
So, with that in mind, those earlier announced features and specs sound like what you can expect from a fourth generation iPhone in a few months. Just a little recap:
- 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 960x460 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
Gruber also goes on to argue that the original finder of that iPhone prototype is guilty of theft, and that Gizmodo could be complicit, too. Either way, it'll end up as one of two things when we're all looking back at it: one of the biggest stories of the year, or one of the coolest sorta-heists from a company known for its ultra-tight security. We seriously doubt it'll be the latter.