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Summary:

Recently, photos of what many thought was the next iPhone surfaced, only to then be discredited as actually being pictures of a Japanese knock-off device. It’s beginning to look like whoever was trying to discredit that photo was actually just trying to cover up the truth.

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Recently, photos of what many thought was the next iPhone surfaced, only to then be discredited as actually being pictures of a Japanese knock-off device. It’s beginning to look like whoever was trying to discredit that photo was actually just trying to cover up the truth, according to mounting evidence.

That evidence takes multiple forms, the first being photographic proof an Engadget editor spotted in a much earlier, and much more reliable image. The picture in question was the one that surfaced just prior to the unveiling of the iPad, which seemed to show that device in a protective or pre-production case. It ended up being an accurate representation of what the iPad would look like, leading many to believe the photo came from inside Apple’s hardware testing labs.

The photo not only shows the pre-release iPad, the editor noted, but also a device which looks exactly like the supposed prototype iPhone 4G that was supposedly just a Japanese knock-off. Without context, the device in the image could be anything, but in light of the new photos, it seems a pretty strong indicator that at least some of Apple’s iPhone 4G designs resemble the new, boxier style found in the latest pictures.

Engadget has also received word from a source (who remains nameless, as per usual), that it is indeed the next iteration of the iPhone, and that the device will boast a number of improvements, from a higher resolution screen and camera with flash, to a front-facing camera and a shift to the new MicroSIM card standard Apple is using with the 3G version of the iPad.

On top of that, Chinese site WeiPhone recently posted a new series of images that purport to be the insides of the newest iPhone incarnation. The images definitely agree with what is known about the next iPhone, and even included the flat side bezel we’ve seen in the photos leaked last week.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the new prototype Engadget’s found is the reported glass backing for the device. John Gruber of Daring Fireball thinks this is in fact true, since he’s not only heard it from multiple sources, but he’s also dug up a patent application for high-durability ceramic enclosures that would avoid the pitfalls of having an all-glass device, while allowing for unprecedented radio signal transparency. That would go a long way to resolving some of the signal issues many iPhone owners complain about.

If these rumors are true, the iPhone is shaping up to be much more than an incremental improvement on the previous version. In fact, I’m getting much more excited about the iPhone 4G than I am about the iPad, which, thanks to delays internationally and at home, I may never get my hands on anyway.

  1. Can you PLEASE stop calling this phone the iPhone 4G? It isn’t a “4G” device, but rather the 4th Generation of the iPhone which unless there is a huge design change will still operate on AT&T’s aging 3G network.

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    1. You assume they weren’t referring to the fact that it’s the 4th generation phone to begin with. Nobody is claiming, assuming or in any way inferring that it’s a 4G network phone.

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    2. 4G in this article and all previous articles refers to it being the 4th generation iPhone. I feel pretty sure all the other sites are using that in the same way.

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      1. Yes, but they shouldn’t. It’s confusing to users who may not know any better, and it is indeed grammatically incorrect, since iPhone 3G is only called so because it’s operational on the 3G network, not because it was a generational device. And if you remember, the 3G was the second generation of the iPhone, not the 3rd.
        iPhone > iPhone 3G > iPhone 3GS > ??

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      2. Yes, I am well aware they are referring to the fourth generation, but that is still inconsistent. Did people refer to the first iPhone as the 1G, the SECOND iPhone as the 2G, and so forth? No. There will be an iPhone 4G one day, but it won’t be the next one.

        Besides, technically, this is probably the 3rd generation, since the iPhone 3GS is just an iteration of the iPhone 3G with no real “generation leap”. Both use almost the same hardware and software.

        Some idiot didn’t think about the naming conventions and called it iPhone 4G and now the whole world has to follow this misnomer?

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  2. [...] iPhone 4G Rumor Mill Heats Up With Photos, Corroboration [...]

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  3. 4G is what Sprint is referring to as it’s new network…instead of a 4th Generation iPhone!

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  4. Apple 4G/4th Gen iPhone “Left At A Bar” « Canadian Tech Blogger Monday, April 19, 2010

    [...] being left at a bar ~14km from Apples headquarters. CNET, Engadget (who first broke the news), TheAppleBlog, Gizmodo, and PCWorld are reporting news on the supposed [...]

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  5. If this is the new iPhone G4, I’m not sure I like the boxier re-design. I hope whatever Apple is making fits the Verizon network because as soon as the iPhone become available there, I will definitely be buying one. I am definitely apple loyal, so I’m sure what they are making will be amazing as usual.

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  6. Actually this 4G iphone’s design elements will end up in the iPad 2G after they bump the specs in the current design. Look out!

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  7. I think just in few month some company in China or Taiwan will copy those design :D.

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  8. iPhone to Leapfrog Verizon, Launch at Cricket Wireless (http://wp.me/pMAmz-3g)

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  9. [...] iPhone 4G Rumor Mill Heats Up With Photos, Corroboration Mac Love [...]

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  10. [...] iPhone 4G Rumor Mill Heats Up With Photos, Corroboration Mac Love [...]

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