One would think that keeping a tighter grip on iPhone 4 pre-launch hardware would be somewhat of a priority at Apple (s aapl) right now, especially given that the company has already failed to do so once before. Nonetheless, another iPhone 4 prototype, and one that appears to be much closer to a retail hardware device, has fallen into the hands of someone outside of Cupertino.
Photos of a different unit which look almost exactly like the iPhone 4 handset purchased by tech blog Gizmodo appeared on Vietnamese forum Taoviet.vn. The only differences in the case design appear to be the inclusion of the phone’s capacity (16GB) in place of the XXGB that appeared on the Gizmodo phone, and the lack of screws in the bottom of the device.
If the leaks are accurate, and it’s becoming very hard to say they aren’t what with all the confirmation in the form of legal action by Apple itself, then it means the original leak didn’t affect the device’s design plans at all. It still appears to have the same glass/plastic back and aluminum border that we saw before, and the same screen size. A teardown also reveals the internals haven’t changed, and that the iPhone 4 sports an Apple branded processor, possibly the same as or a successor to the A4 chip that powers the iPad.
This iPhone appears to be powered up, and possibly running some sort of pre-release testing firmware. According to MacRumors, it’s something that’s not uncommon with tester hardware, and at least some of the visual elements seem to resemble what we’ve seen in the past. This one appears to be codenamed “Bonfire!”
What’s interesting about the leak itself is that even though it comes from a Vietnamese source, it’s said to have originated in the U.S. The forum poster apparently claims that a Vietnamese businessman bought the iPhone in the U.S. along with an iPad on a business trip. So either Apple is very sloppy in their own backyard, or this is yet another example of an expertly managed hype-building campaign.
If Apple sticks to its standard release timeframe, then it makes perfect sense to be seeing a product this far along at this point in the game. WWDC kicks off next month on June 7, and we’ll almost definitely see the unveiling of the new iPhone hardware during the keynote on June 8. With less than a month to go, there’s little time for big changes, so expect to see something pretty much exactly like this gracing the shelves of your local Apple Store or AT&T (s att) kiosk late June or early July.
Check out the photos of the new device in the gallery below.