iPhone 4G Found in a Redwood City Bar?

Image credit: Gizmodo

Logging into Twitter this morning I saw posts stating a prototype of the iPhone 4G had been found in a bar in Redwood City, CA.  I thought this was just a spam post, but the article linked to Gizmondo, a pretty trustworthy site.  It looks like an Apple employee had left the phone in the bar, and Gizmondo was able to obtain it.  They dissected the phone and found all the internal components were from Apple, not a knock off.  Also there were new components, so it was not just a 3GS hacked into a new case.  The entire story seems too good to be true, almost like Apple planted it for people to find.  It reminds me of some of the Alternate Reality Games, specificly Nine Inch Nails last albums where flash drives were found in the stadium containing unreleased tracks from the new album.

Gizmondo was able to check out the hardware, and here are the big additions:

• 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.
• 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

Unfortunately the phone had been remotely disabled by Apple, so no one was able to test out the new features on it.  The phone just shows up as in restore mode when plugged into iTunes.  Firmware cannot be loaded, since it is tied to the device model, and in this case there is no firmware yet for the 4G.  It would have been really cool to see some of the new hardware features, like an improved camera, and an improved screen.

It's rumored Apple will announce the 4G in June, so this could be getting close to a final retail model.  Up until then it's all speculation on if this is real or not.  If it is real, either Apple did it intentionally, or an Apple employee could be looking for a new job.

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