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The New iPhone

April 20th, 2010


Wow. This doesn’t happen every day. We’ve known that iPhones are field-tested by individuals in everyday settings for months before they get announced, but we’ve never seen one “fall into the wrong hands” before. Apple is usually very careful about leaking any information before Jobs can unveil it onstage, and usually “leaked” photos–even legit ones–are fuzzy and fleeting.

However, unless Apple or someone else is pulling the most elaborate gag ever, or unless the object in question is a failed prototype of some sort, then we are seeing Apple’s next iPhone model very up-close and personal. Someone apparently left it behind at a bar in Redwood City, and it quickly made its way into the hands of the people at Gizmodo, who are showing it to the world. While the owner apparently wiped it remotely, they have not yet demanded it back. Asked, maybe. That’s the weird thing: when it comes to unreleased products, even with just images or hints of information, Apple legal usually sends sternly worded letters demanding that posts and photos be taken down. Well, Gizmodo has their hands on actual property which doesn’t belong to them, and Apple is supposedly just letting them keep it. (They claim that Apple is “very interested” in getting it back, but I would describe “very interested” as “making serious legal threats,” not just “reporting it missing.”) Which raises a lot of interesting questions, the least of which is, is this the real thing?

Gizmodo is convinced that it is. They have photographed it from every angle and have dissected it and put it back together, and they believe it’s the genuine article. Check out the link; they go into depth about it. The big news: a high-res display (unknown resolution, pixels so small they could not discern them clearly); a front-facing camera for video conferencing; a larger camera on the back, with LED flash; a bigger battery; and a new, flat and hard-edged form.

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  1. Leszek Cyfer
    April 20th, 2010 at 15:51 | #1

    It might be an elaborate stratagem by Apple, and even if it isn’t, the new one will be different – just to surprise those sure what will be the new Apple gadget.

  2. April 20th, 2010 at 17:27 | #2

    My gut feeling is that this isn’t the finished body. It breaks too many Apple design laws, especially as you look at the right side panel (when looking at it from the front), and there appears to be a seam towards the lower section. When would Jobs EVER release a product with such an obvious seam anywhere other than where two sections join, and even then they are flush. Add in those separate buttons on the side, and we have to remember that Jobs loooooooves a lack of buttons.

    I think the innards are the real deal for the next phone, but I really doubt this is the final body.

  3. April 20th, 2010 at 17:29 | #3

    Hey, I used to live around Hibarigaoka, back when it was part of Hoya city, and not the new, combined, imaginative Nishi-Tokyo-Shi. There was a bit of debate about calling it Hibarigaoka-Shi (Beverley Hills, natch), but the city hall decided to go for bust, and go the route of boredom. Used to be pretty nice, can’t imagine what it’s like now (10+ years.

    An now I just realized I replied to the wrong post, but am running to late to fix it – sorry.


  4. Luis
    April 20th, 2010 at 18:10 | #4


    No problem about the posting–I doubt many will respond to that post anyway, and I got your message. I will be posting more of what I see in Hibarigaoka, of course, so stay tuned. Just out of curiosity, what part of town did you live in? Along Yato Street, the one running due south of Hibarigaoka Station?

    As for the iPhone: you may be right, many have made the observation about the casing. Still, some think it doesn’t break the Apple design elements *too* much. One might actually believe that Jobs would demand it be changed if only to take away from Gizmodo’s scoop.

    BTW, Apple is now officially demanding that Gizmodo hand over the phone, something Gizmodo held out for. If Giz had simply given it back without the request, that would mean they’d have missed Apple officially stating that the phone was indeed owned by them. Giz paid $5000 for the device, and it’s probably safe to say that they got their money’s worth.

  5. April 21st, 2010 at 09:24 | #5

    Thanks for the reply – I used to live closer to Hoya, almost in between the two stations (Hoya & Hibarigaoka), near the high school. Used to be quite a bit rural, with still a bunch of farms – I’m sure they’re all gone now.

    As a tech guy, you may be interested in this – Tokyo Hacker Space

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