back to article 'iPhone 4G' found on floor of bar

The next-generation iPhone will have a new flat-back design, front- and back-facing cameras, a MicroSIM slot, a larger battery, and a higher-resolution display - according to a spate of photo-enriched rumors flooding the intertubes. Over the weekend, Engadget published photos of what it claims to be an iPhone 4G prototype that …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The evidence seems overwhelming

    that this device originated in the bowels of Cupertino. Not that it's necessarily anything other than an engineering prototype, and there's every chance that even if it really is the real deal Jobso will bin it and start over.

    However, if this in fact the design direction Ive & co are taking the iPhone, I very much approve: it looks like a grown-up's phone. With an A4 processor and up to 64GB, it might well be the iPhone that nudges me into getting one, although I suspect Gizmodo won't have theirs for very much longer. Still, they can join El Reg on the "Not Invited To Apple Launches" bench.

    One prediction that I can make with 100% certainty: the word "Crapple" will appear somewhere in this discussion page (other than in this sentence).

    1. Dave Cradle

      "Crapple" indeed

      And why wouldn't they call Apple "Crapple". It's no different from writing M$ or Linsux. Has anyone called anyone a shill yet?? That's always hilarious.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks nice...

    ...but you'd expect the screen to flush with the "metal".

    And is it just me...but it doesn't look very "apple-y"? Looks more like a Nokia than an Apple. Not exactly a gigantic leap forward in form or function from the 1st gen.

    There's no apathetic "meh" icon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Looks like a Nokia, has a video conferencing camera like a Nokia, has a flash on the camera like a Nokia.

      Who knows, it might actually be a good phone like a .....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Yup...

        ^^^ for a moment I thought you were going to say "Nokia".

        Then I remembered the three Nokia's that I've had.

        (btw my last Motorola had two cameras, a flash and looked slightly like that...)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ac 04:11

        A motorola? Nokias are sh!t

      3. Anonymous Coward

        get real...

        its a prototype.... it proberbly looks nothing like the final product...

        the final product design will be hidden away in a locked vault that no fanboy will see that doesnt need to...

        the people making the internals will a spec to work within.... the case it is in will just be a "this will make it easy for us to hold !!

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Not the final article

      I'm sure Jonathan Ive is still working away at the final case design. This would be an early prototype to test the insides of the phone, and engineering will have knocked together a cheap case to hold everything together.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Keep Ive off

        This looks quite good, it absolutely doesn't need the graduate from the Mr. Blobby school of design to convert it into one of his trademark whitewashed cowpats.

  3. stu 4

    Ever heard of theft ?

    I saw this on engadget, and not a single consideration seems to have been given to handing this to the bar or local police station.

    Am I the only one who would do this if I found anything worth more than 5 quid or so ? I mean FFS you find a very valuable phone and your first thoughts are 'ooo I'm gonna steal this and try to find out what it is'

    WTF is wrong with people these days. Tell me this is just an american thing. :-(

    1. Steve Evans

      I thought that...

      ...but then I read one of the stories and it says the guy who found it tried ringing Apple several times, even getting as far as raising a ticket number! But that nobody from Apple had called back, so after a couple of weeks he decided to see if anyone else was interested.

      I'd say he'd made more than reasonable attempts to return the item, so he should be fine.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        straight to the top...

        shame he didn't email SJ - would hve been amusing to see the reply.

        probably would have been along the lines of:

        Dont move! thats the cops smashing your front door in.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Steve Jobs' response (before the cry of "D'oh!")...

          Stop making stuff up.

          Sent from my iPad.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: I thought that...

        According to Gizmondo, when the guy was looking through the information on the phone, there was a Facebook app with a page for Gray Powell.

        The next day, the device had been remotely disabled, so he did the thing all of us would do... he pried the device apart.

        I have no doubt that when he says he phoned Apple a few times, he did and I'm sure he couldn't have done anymore to return the device!

        It does look like Gizmondo could be sued under California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act... but why wait so long to break the story?

      3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        Yeah but...

        How about you simply mail it back to Apple recorded post or whatever the US equivalent is?

        If I had found a prototype, I would be so paranoid that they were after me, I'd drive the sodding thing back to the HQ and hand it over to the reception or ask for a the head of R&D! Say, I found this and I don't want anything to do with it, sign anything to ensure I have nothing more to do with it!

    2. James Melody

      ever heard of...

      finders keepers....losers weepers.

      Mine is the one with a miniture Richard Stilgoe in the pocket.

  4. orangeracer

    lost in a bar?

    Right... lost... And I'm sure the employee, if ever revealed, was paid a princely sum to take an early retirement and to "lose" the phone. Why pay ad agencies when fanbois will happily do all your marketing for you?

    Coat: "Hmmm.... there sure is a pocketful of money in my pocket, I can't seem to find a place for my 4g phone, whoopsie!"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: lost in a bar?

      "Right... lost... And I'm sure the employee, if ever revealed, was paid a princely sum to take an early retirement and to "lose" the phone."

      If you read the article, you'd see that: "When he launched that app, it took him to the Facebook page of Gray Powell."

      Who happens to be an Apple employee...

      Of course, having someone else's phone, knowing it's someone elses phone and then selling it to a third party for $10k is knowingly selling on stolen goods (but that's another story)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So basically, they knowingly bought another persons property from someone, and then destroyed it ? Hope they get prosecuted.

  6. liquidphantom

    Accidental loss??

    I think these things are 'planted' not lost. It's good free (to an extent) publicity for them.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      that it's a plant. Apple would never allow their employees to take such a unit out unless it was completely disguised. I'm guessing they're testing the market to see if sufficient people will be interested in a phone with these features.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Agree

        "Apple would never allow their employees to take such a unit out unless it was completely disguised."

        It was hidden in a 3g case (now removed)

    2. uhuznaa

      Not really

      Leaking pictures this way to keep things interesting, yes. But leaking a full device (even a prototype) into the hands of the media several months before Apple announces the thing... never.

      Apple will totally hate this. If that is the real thing, there will be hardly anything left to announce later.

    3. Francis Vaughan

      Taking one's importance far too seriously

      Thinking this is a plant is taking geekdom far too seriously. The iPhone isn't marketed to geeks, and 99.9% of all iPhone buyers woudn't know what Gizmondo was, and woudn't care if you told them. Apple have tens of billions in the bank, and one of the most well oiled publicity machines on the planet, the world's press fall over themselves to report on every word Steve says, - and they resort to losing phones in pubs? Hardly.

      1. Tim Bates

        It's a plant...

        If it was truly lost, the owner (Apple?) would have reported it to the police. Especially as it's an engineering sample of a "secret" product.

        And the iPhone's market my not be geeks, but they really do get a lot of free hype from fanbois. It's these fanbois who obsess over websites with rumours and leaks about the next "revolutionary" device. Most people who own an iPhone only own it because a fanboi hyped it up to them in some way. Paying someone to "drop" a sample version of the next big product is a very cheap ad - device value would be in the hudreds of dollars, but the advertising effect is worth millions.

        1. hplasm

          It's the Time Traveller's WiFi

          Er, iPhnoe. Some DrWhovian assistant dropped it. From the future- there are no 4G networks in the present, duh!

  7. Desktop Mobile

    @Anonymous Coward


    Ask and you will receive

  8. Bill B
    Thumb Down

    Oh for c**p's sake

    we've just got over the endless useless speculation over the iSlate/iPad/iWhatever and now we have to fill column inches over the next iThingy

    I really think some people need to get a life

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @Bill B

      *YOU* decided to read the article.

      No-one made you do it.

      ...besides which, there are countless stories every week about the latest security flaw in whichever MS "operating system" (a term used in the loosest possible way) is flavour of the month.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Stevie wan Jobobi would say

    This is not the phone you are looking for.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    "They're going to see it all eventually, so who cares how they get it?"

    Something to do with this?

    Another day, another coffee shop.

    1. Ivan Headache


      exactly what I was thinking.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      "They're going to see it all eventually, so who cares how they get it?"

      Hear, hear! I completely agree.


      Hang on, we ARE talking about sex ed in schools, aren't we?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "Hang on, we ARE talking about sex ed in schools, aren't we?"

        No - in many states in the US sex-ed is not allowed in school. (Particularly in the south.) It something that should be learned at home - with one's younger sister. (Again particularly in the south.)

  11. Lotus 80


    I need a new phone. Guess I should stop hanging in East Bay coffee shops and head south.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Rumor Mill - leak

    I too think this is a planned, planted leak.

    Current 3GS is no longer the king of the hill in some respects, and the new version still has some more time to go. This is just to divert some users sitting on the fence from switching over to Android (Motorola Droid, Nexus One, HTC Desire, etc).

    .. And maybe divert attention some from recent app store policies..

    1. SteveCo


      So I take it that this new 4G iPhone doesn't come with a timed lock on it then? Would Apple really allow bods out into the worlds with the lock NOT engaged? I don't think so.

      As for the reported phone itself. Meh - doesn't do anything for me over the latest Android phones. What's happened to the _innovation_ ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Exactly

        "What's happened to the _innovation_ ?"

        It's being sued for patent violations.

    2. Jerome 0
      Thumb Up


      Sounds like a highly feasible theory to me. All the iPhone fanbois are about to be on the receiving end of some serious retribution at the hands of Android zealots, who are sick of all the smug gloating they've had to live with all this time, and gagging for a chance to prove they're no better than their sworn enemies.

      This will give the Apple fans a nice little comeback: "but the new version of my phone's out soon, and it's even better than your Desire / N1 / X10". Why can't we all just get along, eh? But in the mean time - hahhaaha, my Desire's much better than your iPhone!

  13. Dana W

    amazingly enough.....

    I have two Macs, two iPods, and an iPhone and even I'm getting burned out on Apple news. "The constant trolls it attracts do not help."

    Honestly, I love Apple, but seriously, there are other things to talk about.

    1. Ronny Cook
      Big Brother

      Other things to talk about

      There may (Apple is good) be other things (Steve Jobs is God) to talk about (Buy an iPhone). But noe of them (you need an iPad) are nearly as (... and a Mac) interesting or useful (Apple Apple Apple Apple...).

      Anyway, these days (Apple makes the best hardware) Apple is the flavour (Apple makes the best operating system) of the month. (Steve Wozniak is the Betrayer.) There's even a fruit named after them! (Apple Apple Apple Apple...)

  14. Adrian Esdaile

    Theft by finding, anyone?

    I don't know about USA, but here in Australia if you report the loss of something valuable to the police, someone can't sell what ou've reported as lost. I think you don't even have to report it; I think it is actually an offence to NOT hand in anything worth more than about $10.

    Posting pictures of it all over the Internets would be a very stupid thing to do in Australia, and I am guessing the US has similar laws of some sort. They certainly stop people 'finding' cars on the side of the road!

    Hence I call this thing a fake, though maybe a good one, but they fail one major point - the alleged 4G shown is so ugly it could only date from 1996 or actually be a WindowsCE device of some sort. Apple don't make ugly stuff these days, whereas everyone else seems to have a fetish for bloody awful design.

    If it is a protoyype, then it is in a test-bed casing and maybe the internals are real. I really hope Apple aren't going to try to sell something that looks like a 1998 Dell.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I find it hard to believe this is a plant. The gadget press will go nuts when iPhone 4 comes out anyway, and right now I would imagine Apple are quite happy having loads of stories about the iPad kicking around. Why would they deliberately compete with the plenty of free publicity they are still getting for another major product?

    I also find it hard to believe that this is exactly what the new iPhone might look like, those seams are not very Apple at all, but I guess the innards are the hard part, not the case.

  16. Tom 7

    Tables just seem to wobble in bars

    so no need for one of those under a leg.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Its Not a 4G its an iPhone HD!

    as I have posted many times before!

    anon cos apple is watching...

    1. Jerome 0


      Of course. For it to be an "iPhone 4G", it would have to implement WiMAX like the HTC Evo.

  18. Lau


    Somehow that phone reminds me of the fake Chinese iPhones

  19. Jared Earle


    If you think this was a controlled leak, you've not been paying attention.

    This was not planned.

  20. NogginTheNog
    Thumb Down

    Close but no cigar

    It's a seriously nice looking piece of kit, and those suspected features (noise cancelling second mic?!) look very nice as well!

    Shame it'll run a version of Mac OSX, and be handcuffed to iTunes and the Apple mafia... Android or Palm for me it remains then thanks!

  21. SlabMan


    A plant would be absolute marketing genius.

    If I can summarise the objectives of the plant in words: 'Please stop buying our current best-selling product as we have something much better coming out in several months time. We want to stop selling so many phones in the meantime as we are making far too much money.'

    Hmmm - maybe not a plant after all.

  22. daily

    apple employee

    Somewhere, a former apple employee is firing up Pages, and updating his resume, checking the want ads in the paper for job openings.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    It has gotta be a plant....

    you know how fond apple are at dragging people through the legal system, you think they wouldent have had the guys arm up his back by now?

    its perfect for people sitting on the fence when looking at tne next phone fro them to pose with... the iphone has many serious flaws for a serious smartphone user, the leaked phone addresses some of those flaws....

    if i was un-biased, and was looking at spending a few quid on my next new super smart phone, i think i would be hanging on a little while before buying a phone now.... but i am biased and it wont be a crapple phone...

    the proof in if its been a plant or not will be if Gizmondo are invited to any more crapple product launches,,,,

    1. Tim Spence

      Deliberate leak?

      If this was a deliberate leak, it's achieved the opposite of the expected intention with me - on seeing these and believing them to be real, I see no point in waiting for the 4G, and just ditched my 3G and ordered an HTC Desire... I bought the original iPhone when it first came out, at £280, so no one can accuse me of not being dedicated, but this doesn't look revolutionary, barely evolutionary.

      The iPhone is a tired dog and has lost it's way, unfortunately. Long live the iPhone.

  24. The elephant in the room

    Apple's lawyers > Gizmondo's lawyers...

    ...therefore this is a marketing stunt, or at least a genuine loss that has turned into one in a damage limitation exercise.

  25. Watashi

    Nokia or SE?

    Does look like a Nokia, but my old SE mobile has a flash and a forward facing camera for video calls too, and that phone's nearly 4 years old.

    I'm really getting tired of all the Apple hype. I think the best headline for the 4G on the basis of this phone is:

    "iPhone finally catches up with competition."

    You can bet your a**e that isn't how the Apple fanboi media will play it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia or SE?

      "Does look like a Nokia, but my old SE mobile has a flash and a forward facing camera for video calls too, and that phone's nearly 4 years old."

      The trouble is that Nokia and SE have been doing a great impersonation of a rabbit staring into the headlights of a truck for the last four years. Talk about squandering the incumbents' advantage!

      1. ThomH

        Nokia are just awful at software

        Without having read it, I imagine El Reg's recent article on why Nokia should buy Palm covers much this ground: they've no straightforward strategy in terms of a software platform and their development kits and developer support are awful, starving them of the sort of high profile games that are helping to sell the iPhone and, to a lesser extent, the Android to teenagers and children.

  26. Alistair MacRae

    Is another employee going to get beaten up by the Foxconn boys for this?

    I'm sure someone got beaten up a while ago for losing a iphone prototype and then threw themselves out of a window...

    Did I dream this?

    Anyway I feel sorry for whoever lost the iphone :(

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    Can we have a play-mobile reconstruction of Jobs exploding like the Volcano?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Grow up

      Read title.

      1. Benny
        Thumb Up


        to El Reg!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what...

    So what if there is going to be a new iPhone.

    They need to update the technology to stay ahead of their competitors.

  29. Waderider

    Definitely a cult.....

    Well that's the last requirement for Crapple to definitely be a consumerist cult fulfilled then. This Roman Catholicism equivalent is the virgin mary appearing is some cow shite invested field in Ireland; the Crapple version is a shite phone appearing in a bar in the eastern seaboard of the USA.

    Penguin because that's not Crapple.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Are you 12 years old?

      Seriously? "Crapple?"

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Basic School lessons?

      "eastern seaboard of the USA"

      Humm - Redwood City is in California (between San Jose and San Francisco). California is on the WEST COAST of the US....

      Wait till you graduate from 5th grade before posting again.

  30. gimbal

    Small world...

    ...when you'd care so much about a phone that you'd shell out a ten-grand stack of bills for it. Hard to believe that they actually did that.

    Grabbing my jacket before the Apple cult goes Waco. Mine's the one with a BlackBerry in the pocket.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Plant. No.

    You'd have to be some kind of epic moron to deliberately leak details of a moderately-distant prototyped product as a marketing stunt, right in the middle of launching the iPad. You'd at least wait for a non-prototype version and for the iPad hype to die down a bit.

    And we all know that if one thing Apple can do right, it's marketing.

    Let's apply a little of Occam's razor. What's more likely:

    1) A global marketing-driven company launches a complex and self-defeating marketing stunt with an unfinished product, which undermines its major launch.

    2) An IT worker uses his position to blag a cool new gadget to play with, because it's shiny. He then goes down the pub, gets bladdered and looses his 'phone.

    I think we all know the answer to that.

    Epic fail to all those calling it a marketing stunt.

    1. Jellyjazz
      Thumb Up

      The only...

      Intelligent comment here.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You've never worked at Apple

      ... or ever talked to someone who has.

      If you had you'd know that (2) is not nearly as easy as you think.

      Apple internal security and paranoia is as tight as a gnats arse. There are many people working on the next gen products who don't get to see the final product until shortly before release. Less than a handful of people at Apple have "position" worth using and that certainly excludes bladder-headed IT workers, OS/application developers and the like.

      AC because.....

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    icelandic word meaning ash-hole .

  33. Morpho Devilpepper
    Jobs Horns

    Come with me if you want a life

    I'll bet it was dropped by a time traveller from six weeks in the future. He/she came to prevent Steve from transplanting his brain into a MacBook Pro and becoming immortal. This time-travelling savior was pursued into the past by a cybernetic Mac Genius wearing a black turtleneck and speaking with an Austrian accent.

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