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  • "Barroom iPhone" Disassembled: Looks Legit
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxbHCR-W8zc]YouTube - Gizmodo: This Is Apple's Next iPhone[/ame]

    The plot thickens.

    A supposed fourth-generation iPhone somehow made its way to Jason Chen of Gizmodo, with the story that it was found on the floor of a bar in either San Jose or Redwood City. Others claim it is an "open secret" that Chen bought the device from someone who stole it from Apple a week ago. However he came by it, once Chen had his hands on the device he did what any self-respecting modder would do: he took it apart. And what he found - components with Apple logos silkscreened on them, normal iTunes and System Profiler behavior (though with unique identifiers for any existing phone) - convinced him that this is the real deal.

    As has long been rumored, the fourth-generation iPhone has a front-facing video chat camera. The rear-case camera lens is larger than the one on the iPhone 3GS, and there is a flash. The device uses a Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM, and apparently a glass or ceramic back. The display is apparently much improved. Chen said he couldn't figure out the resolution of the screen because he couldn't get past the "Connect to iTunes" icon: Apple had apparently remotely bricked the phone when they found out it was missing, but he says it was "impossible to discern individual pixels." The phone also has separate buttons for volume-up and volume-down that are metallic, as are the power and mute buttons. Chen also reports a secondary mic by the headphone jack that he believes is used for noise cancellation.

    They found that the device had a fit and finish that convinced them it couldn't possibly be a fake. The kicker, though: John Gruber of Daring Fireball got word through one of his contacts at Apple that a prototype iPhone has gone missing... "and they want it back."

    Click through to Gizmodo for the pics.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "Barroom iPhone" Disassembled: Looks Legit started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 196 Comments
    1. reyg25atx's Avatar
      reyg25atx -
      I will say this much. I personally feel this is the Real Deal. Maybe be not exactly what will be released in the summer as this is a "prototype" but I feel this is pretty much the finished product. Real or not it has the iPhone community talking, and if it is real, it is good to see Apple has finally added so many much needed hardware upgrades.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Exactly... what else do people have to complain about now with regard to hardware capability?
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      OK.. lets say this iPhone is legit with the following improvements:
      1. Front facing cam
      2. At least a 1Ghz processor
      3. Good camera on back with a flash
      4. Awesome screen resolution
      5. iPhone OS 4.0 with all the newest features.

      Is there another phone currently on the market that beats it? The only thing it doesn't have is flash (of course). But i think all this stuff puts it out in front compared to all the other "iPhone killer" phones out there.
      Actually the current HTC's do outside of not having the iPhone OS.

      1. FF Cam...check
      2. 1Ghz processor...check
      3. Good camera on back with flash...check (and 8 MP at that)
      4. Awesome screen resolution...check (HD2, Incredible, Evo)

      I think it probably is safe to say Apple probably won't go 8 MP with the next camera. 5 MP is probably a good guess. But I will say MP don't matter as much as lens size.

      Edit: Also all of your points are still "rumored." Nothing concrete has been said about specs for the new hardware. After all Engadget and Gizmodo blogging something isn't the same as Apple/Steve Jobs saying and showing it live. Have some sense of reality here people.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      The HTC is a Window Mobile device. Have you ever used one of those?! The 1Ghz processor feels slower than the iPhone 3G sometimes... it's crap!
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Wow, I wonder what Apple have to say now...
    1. reyg25atx's Avatar
      reyg25atx -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      Actually the current HTC's do outside of not having the iPhone OS.

      1. FF Cam...check
      2. 1Ghz processor...check
      3. Good camera on back with flash...check (and 8 MP at that)
      4. Awesome screen resolution...check (HD2, Incredible, Evo)

      I think it probably is safe to say Apple probably won't go 8 MP with the next camera. 5 MP is probably a good guess. But I will say MP don't matter as much as lens size.
      I agree HD2 is going to give iPhone a tough fight. I think it even captures 780p if my memory is correct. It is a matter of preference Windows, Android, or iPhone OS. hardware wise there are many devices that match well against the iPhone.
    1. idigit's Avatar
      idigit -
      Quote Originally Posted by idesideratum View Post
      i'm leaning towards believing it... the only question is, why haven't they taken it apart to look at the CPU and RAM and such? Then we can really confirm if it's new or not...

      Gotta see the full tear down pics of the cpu, it should be different than the 3GS, if not it's a fake. If Chen and crew don't show pics then my skepticism greatly increases.


      IMHO it's a fake...
    1. reyg25atx's Avatar
      reyg25atx -
      The market is competeive and that is good for us consumers. With devices available or soon to be..Windows 7 phone, Lenovo's "Le Phone", HD2, Android devices, the Palm Pre, and iPhone. So many choices take your pick.
    1. Prox's Avatar
      Prox -
      Quote Originally Posted by berry_lthird View Post
      I hate to burst everyone's bubble, buuuutttt......those images have been "shopped". I am an expert with Photoshop and I can tell instantly when an image has been altered. Especially from the back where the FCC information has been visually augmented.

      The phone itself looks like a Nokia or even a Sony Ericsson. But I can guarantee you it's not an iPhone.
      Hey expert sorry to burst your bubble but it isnt photohshop unless they photoshoped frame by frame, your probably not even a expert, just a little noob that can make something small and calls him self a expert.
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      The HTC is a Window Mobile device. Have you ever used one of those?! The 1Ghz processor feels slower than the iPhone 3G sometimes... it's crap!
      You were pointing out hardware specs. I did say that the HTC devices don't have the iPhone OS. Just because it has WINMO doesn't mean that negates the 1Ghz clock speed (hardware speaking). Also two of those devices are Android which are faster than the WINMO and have the ff cam and 8 MP camera on back. The Sprint one has a kick stand too.

      I won't argue that iPhone OS is superior to WINMO and Android. But talking specs only there are phones out there that match and probably even exceed the Apple "rumors" for the next gen iPhone.
    1. Faxmonkey's Avatar
      Faxmonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by jamp1483 View Post
      Can't believe y'all r buying it... Looks faker than my sis tits.... Look at the side buttons!!! I don't think apple would make such an ugly phone... Plus 84 GB.. How they came up with that.. Hope this isn't it.. Ugly as crap!!
      Where are you getting 84 gb from? I searched the gizmodo article and these forums, and you were the very first person to say "84" gb.

      Gizmodo merely said the back says XX gb, and they couldn't switch it on to check. The PREVIOUS report said it that the person who was able to use it before it was switched it reported that it was 80 gb, not 84.

      80gb makes sense. It's a multiple of both 8 and 16, so it could easily be explained by a 10 or 5 channel set up. 84 gibabytes makes far less sense, but again, you're the first person, so far as I can tell, who has claimed it was 84 gigabytes.

      Quote Originally Posted by idigit View Post
      Gotta see the full tear down pics of the cpu, it should be different than the 3GS, if not it's a fake. If Chen and crew don't show pics then my skepticism greatly increases.


      IMHO it's a fake...
      If I were a betting man, and you offered me 99:1 odds against this being real, I probably wouldn't take you up on it. I'm at least 99.99% sure it's real. If its a hoax, its a pretty amazing and elaborate one.

      At any rate, we've seen pics of the internals from the other picture sets, which are clearly of the same phone, just a bit blurrier. I imagine Gizmodo is intentionally withholding teardown pics for either legal reasons, or to make it a second-exclusive story later.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      It does look pretty sweet except for the "joints" on the top and side. Hope Apple gets rid of them by the release date but the microsim is kind of no go zone for now, what if I need to put my sim card in another phone?
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Faxmonkey View Post
      Where are you getting 84 gb from? I searched the gizmodo article and these forums, and you were the very first person to say "84" gb.

      Gizmodo merely said the back says XX gb, and they couldn't switch it on to check. The PREVIOUS report said it that the person who was able to use it before it was switched it reported that it was 80 gb, not 84.

      80gb makes sense. It's a multiple of both 8 and 16, so it could easily be explained by a 10 or 5 channel set up. 84 gibabytes makes far less sense, but again, you're the first person, so far as I can tell, who has claimed it was 84 gigabytes.



      If I were a betting man, and you offered me 99:1 odds against this being real, I probably wouldn't take you up on it. I'm at least 99.99% sure it's real. If its a hoax, its a pretty amazing and elaborate one.

      At any rate, we've seen pics of the internals from the other picture sets, which are clearly of the same phone, just a bit blurrier. I imagine Gizmodo is intentionally withholding teardown pics for either legal reasons, or to make it a second-exclusive story later.
      80/84 GB doesn't make sense. Apple has doubled the storage in each revision.

      4 - 8 - 16 - 32 (iPhone 3Gs) - 64 (iPod Touch 3rd Gen)

      Next iPhone will probably have 64 GB to match the iPod Touch 3rd Gen. I would be surprised if they went 128 GB to surpass the iPod Touch 3rd Gen but who knows.

      Also 64 can be misinterpreted as 84 to some people depending on font type.
    1. reyg25atx's Avatar
      reyg25atx -
      Cha Ching! Business opportunity anyone?! Someone needs to start working on Micro SIM to Standard SIM adapter so you can swap between devices in the event you break your iPhone 4G and need to go back to older iPhone or another device! Any investors out there!?
    1. iPh0wned's Avatar
      iPh0wned -
      had an employee really lost it, would it not be better to not use the remote kill to wipe the phone and use the "Find iPhone" feature to locate the phone? then again, now they know where the phone is.....cant they send in their ninja assassins like they do in china when someone leaks info? someone at gizmodo may be dying soon

      OR this is a planned leak by apple to get feedback or create hype on the new unit.

      i vote the latter
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      this better not be the next iPhone... it **** ugly.
      If it is i am not buying it. screw functionality.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      i'll believe it when two things happen, 1: he turns the screen on and 2: he shows photos of it oppened up
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by reyg25atx View Post
      Cha Ching! Business opportunity anyone?! Someone needs to start working on Micro SIM to Standard SIM adapter so you can swap between devices in the event you break your iPhone 4G and need to go back to older iPhone or another device! Any investors out there!?
      The question is will AT&T bundle the next iPhone with both a standard and micro sim (if Apple goes with a micro sim). It makes sense for them to do that to allow customers the choice if something does happen to their iPhone. But then again this is AT&T and they don't seem to think that far ahead.
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPh0wned View Post
      had an employee really lost it, would it not be better to not use the remote kill to wipe the phone and use the "Find iPhone" feature to locate the phone? then again, now they know where the phone is.....cant they send in their ninja assassins like they do in china when someone leaks info? someone at gizmodo may be dying soon

      OR this is a planned leak by apple to get feedback or create hype on the new unit.

      i vote the latter
      That is a good point but I would think Apple wouldn't want to locate the iPhone and come get it because if that happened it would only confirm the suspicions. Also just a couple other things - They have shown the inside of the iPhone and 80GB does actually make sense, if you recall the evolution to the ipod it was going 20, 40, 80, and then 120 which isn't double. They did have a 160 for a very short period of time but just because they have doubled it until now doesn't necessarily mean that it couldn't happen. Plus this is a prototype so who knows how much memory the final will have
    1. AJV1989's Avatar
      AJV1989 -
      its the real deal
      This Is Apple's Next iPhone

      You are looking at Apple's next iPhone. It was found lost in a bar in Redwood City, camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS. We got it. We disassembled it. It's the real thing, and here are all the details.


      While Apple may tinker with the final packaging and design of the final phone, it's clear that the features in this lost-and-found next-generation iPhone are drastically new and drastically different from what came before. Here's the detailed list of our findings:

      What's new
      • 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 960x640 display thrown around before—it certainly looks like it, with the "Connect to iTunes" screen displaying much higher resolution than on a 3GS.
      • 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

      What's changed
      • The back is entirely flat, made of either glass (more likely) or ceramic or shiny plastic in order for the cell signal to poke through. Tapping on the back makes a more hollow and higher pitched sound compared to tapping on the glass on the front/screen, but that could just be the orientation of components inside making for a different sound
      • An aluminum border going completely around the outside
      • Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution)
      • Everything is more squared off
      • 3 grams heavier
      • 16% Larger battery
      • Internals components are shrunken, miniaturized and reduced to make room for the larger battery


      Why we think it's definitely real
      We're as skeptical—if not more—than all of you. We get false tips all the time. But after playing with it for about a week—the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone—and disassembling this unit, there is so much evidence stacked in its favor, that there's very little possibility that it's a fake. In fact, the possibility is almost none. Imagine someone having to use Apple components to design a functioning phone, from scratch, and then disseminating it to people around the world. Pretty much impossible. Here are the reasons, one by one.

      It has been reported lost
      Apple-connected John Gruber—from Daring Fireball—says that Apple has indeed lost a prototype iPhone and they want it back:

      So I called around, and I now believe this is an actual unit from Apple — a unit Apple is very interested in getting back.
      Obviously someone found it, and here it is.

      The screen
      While we couldn't get it past the connect to iTunes screen for the reasons listed earlier, the USB cable on that screen was so high quality that it was impossible to discern individual pixels. We can't tell you the exact resolution of this next-generation iPhone, but it's much higher than the current iPhone 3GS.

      The operating system
      According to the person who found it, this iPhone was running iPhone OS 4.0 before the iPhone 4.0 announcement. The person was able to play with it and see the iPhone 4.0 features. Then, Apple remotely killed the phone before we got access to it. We were unable to restore because each firmware is device specific—3GS firmware only loads on 3GS devices—and the there are no firmwares available for this unreleased phone. Which is another clue to its authenticity.


      It is recognized as an iPhone
      This iPhone behaves exactly like an iPhone does when connected to a computer, with the proper boot sequence and "connect to iTunes" restore functionality. Xcode and iTunes both see this as an iPhone. Mac OS X's System Profiler also reports this as an iPhone in restore mode, which is a natural consequence of remotely wiping the phone, but report different product identifiers (both CPID and CPRV) than either the 3G or the 3GS.

      It uses micro-sim
      The fact that it uses a micro-sim is a clear indicator that this is a next-generation iPhone. No other cellphone uses this standard at this point in the US.

      The camouflage case
      The case it came inside was a fully developed plastic case to house this phone to disguise it like a 3GS. This wasn't just a normal case; it had all the proper new holes cut out for the new switches and ports and camera holes and camera flash. But it looks like something from Belkin or Case-Mate. It's a perfect disguise.

      The fact that it's in the wild right now
      Logic can also narrow down why this phone is this year's iPhone, rather than next year's model or one from the previous year's, just because it was found in the wild right now. It makes no sense for Apple to be testing 2011's model right now, in super finished form—they wouldn't be nearly finished with it. The phone also can't be last year's test model, because last year's model (based on the iPhone 3GS teardowns) components were way different. No micro-sim, much bigger logic board, no flash, no front camera, smaller battery and an inferior camera. That only leaves the 2010 model.

      The guts, the definitive proof
      And finally, when we opened it up, we saw multiple components that were clearly labeled APPLE. And, because the components were fit extremely well and extremely conformed inside the case (obvious that it was designed FOR this case), it was evident that it was not just a 3G or a 3GS transplanted into another body. That probably wouldn't even be possible, with the size constraints of the thinner device and larger battery.


      The New Industrial Design
      At first sight, this new iPhone's industrial design seems so different from the previous two generations that it could be discarded as just a provisional case. Even while the finish is so perfect that it feels right out of the factory, some of the design language elements that are common to all Apple products are not there. Gone is the flushed screen glass against the metal rim. Gone is the single volume button, replaced by two separate ones. Gone is the seamless rim, and gone are the tapered, curved surfaces.

      Despite that, however, this design is not a departure. Not when you frame it with the rest of the Apple product line. It's all the contrary: This new iPhone gets back to the simplicity of the iMac and the iPad. In fact, you can argue that the current iPhone 3GS—with its shiny chrome rim and excessively curved back—is out of place compared to the hard edges and Dieter-Ramish utilitarianism of the iMac and the iPad. Next to the iPad, for example, the new iPhone makes sense. It has the same feeling, the same functional simplicity.

      But why the black plastic back, instead of going with an unibody aluminum design? Why the two audio volume buttons? Why the seams? And why doesn't the back have any curvature at all?



      Why the plastic back?
      The plastic back is the most obvious of the design choices. The iPad, with its all aluminum back, has seen its Wi-Fi reception radius reduced. The 3G version comes with a large patch on the top, probably big enough to provide with good reception. But the new tiny iPhone doesn't have the luxury of space: It needs to provide as much signal as possible using a very small surface. I'm sure Jon Ive is dying to get rid of the plastic back, and go iPad-style all the way, but the wireless reception is the most important thing in a cellphone. A necessary aesthetical-functional trade-off.

      Why separate volume buttons?
      This new iPhone uses separate buttons for the volume instead of the single button that you can find in the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. It's one of the factors that may indicate that this is a provisional case, until you think about one of the most requested features for Apple's phone: A physical button for the camera. The new iPhone has a bigger sensor and a flash, which means that the camera function keeps gaining more weight. It's only logical to think that Apple may have implemented this two-button approach to provide with a physical shutter button. It makes sense.

      Why the seams?
      The seams are perhaps the most surprising aspect of the new design. They don't seem to respond to any aesthetic criteria and, in terms of function, we can't adventure any explanation. But they don't look bad. In fact, the whole effect seems good, like something you will find in a Braun product from the 70s.

      It's doubtful that the seams are arbitrary, however. Either they will disappear from the final product, or they have a function we can't foresee at this time.

      Why no tapering or curves?
      As you will see in a future article, the new iPhone is so miniaturized and packed that there's no room for the tapered, curved surfaces. Everything is as tight as it could get, with no space for anything but electronics.

      The hardware specs
      The phone measures 4.50 by 2.31 by 0.37 inches. It weighs 140 grams. The 3GS weighs 137 grams on a postal scale (and 135 on Apple's official measurements). So, in comparison, it's 3 grams heavier. The battery is 5.25 WHr at 3.7V, compared to the 3GS battery, which is 4.51 WHr at 3.7V. On the back of the phone, it said it was XX GB, but since we were unable to get the phone to a running state, we couldn't see exactly how large it was.



      How it feels
      Freaking amazing. As a person who never really liked the round mound of a back in the 3GS, the sleeker, flatter, squarer design is super welcome. It feels sturdier than the 3GS, and much less plasticky. The metal buttons give it a heftier feel—less of a toy—than all previous generations. The closest analog to it would be the original iPhone, which is more square and heavy than its newer brothers.

      It feels completely natural up to your face, and the fact that both the front and the back are glossy makes no difference on how well you can hold it without the phone slipping. And because it's thinner, it feels even nicer in your pants.



      What all this means
      Apple has updated the exterior drastically different from the 3G and 3GS. That design is old, it felt out of place compared to the rest of their products and needed desperately to be killed. Now you have a thinner body, a much more pleasant form factor with no wasted space and lots of hard lines. But the design isn't the most important part that's changed.

      They've delivered many of the features people have been waiting for—that damn front camera!—while at the same time upgrading everything else. Flash, better back camera, better battery life and another microphone for better voice clarity. People who bought the 3G two years ago and are now in the perfect position to upgrade and get a dramatically different, and better, phone. If confirmed this summer, and if it performs as we expect, this next-generation iPhone looks like a winner.

      go to gizmodo.com for pics and videos