Apple has sent an official letter to the website that currently has the prototype phone widely believed to be the next-generation iPhone, confirming that Apple owns the unit and asking for it back.
A device with the iPhone logo but an unfamiliar design was found at a bar outside of San Francisco a week or so ago. It landed at the technology news website Gizmodo, which published photos and details of it.
Apple’s legal department sent the site an official request for the unit’s return. The letter describes it as “a device that belongs to Apple,” making it clear that the unit isn’t a fake device cobbled together by someone perpetrating a hoax.
An Early Look at the Next iPhone
Apple apparently wiped the phone remotely upon discovering it was missing and it has since been stuck in recovery mode. Previously, it was supposedly running iPhone OS 4.0.
Even without a functioning operating system, it reveals many details about the next-generation iPhone. For example, it includes a front-facing camera, and the back camera’s lens is larger with an LED flash.
The Touchscreen is slightly smaller, but it appears to have a higher resolution.
Inside is a micro-SIM slot, rather than a full-size one, and the battery is about 15% larger.
A New Look
Apple’s next smartphone will apparently have a design notably different from any previous iPhone, with squarer edges, new button shapes and less chrome.
The buttons on the sides and top also look distinctly different from the ones used on previous versions, with separate ones for volume control; the Home button appears unchanged. Most buttons are metal instead of plastic.
Is It the Apple iPhone HD?
Although the formal unveiling of Apple’s next smartphone isn’t expected for months, unconfirmed reports offer many details about the model.
It will supposedly be called the iPhone HD and sport a Touchscreen with a higher resolution than the current model, possibly 960 x 640 pixels. All previous iPhone OS devices have a 3.5-inch, HVGA (320 x 480 pixel) screen.
It’s likely going to be the debut of iPhone OS 4.0, the first version of Apple’s operating system that will allow third-party applications to run in the background.
In addition, it’s considered likely that the fourth-generation model will be based on an Apple A4 chip, also used in the new iPad.
According to another unconfirmed report, the upcoming device will have a 5 MPx camera with flash, and there is strong evidence that it will support iChat video conferencing using a front-facing camera.
Expected this Summer
Apple has scheduled an event on June 22 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where all previous iPhones were unveiled, making this a likely date for the announcement of the fourth-generation version.
While AT&T will likely carry the new model, there have also been persistent reports that Verizon Wireless – and possibly other carriers – will get the iPhone this summer as well, ending AT&T’s long-held role as the exclusive U.S. provider of the smartphone.