Talkin bout my fourth generation
Dude, where's my top secret iPhone?
Forgetting a cell phone in a bar isn't the end of the world (I did it four times the year of my 21st). But it's a little more complicated if you're Gray Powell.
Powell, a software engineer working on the iPhone's telephone component, iPhone Baseband Software left a prototype of the new iPhone G4 at a Redwood City bar at his 27th birthday celebration — one that involved German beer that Powell posted a Facebook comment about "underestimating." Gadget and technology blog Gizmodo broke the scandal, after a patron of at the bar, Gourmet Haus Staudt handed over the prototype for $5,000 in cash.
Gizmodo disassembled the tool and broke it down for those out of the One Infinite Loop.
We're all about the new front-facing video chat camera, back camera with flash, micro-SIM memory card and 16-percent larger battery. The improved display looks like the expected 960x640 pixels, and they've added a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. Those frustrated with the combined volume lever will enjoy the now-separated two button control. The continuous aluminum rim and newly-metallic power, mute and volume buttons add a touch of class, too.
But when it comes to overall design, the phone, which was disguised at the bar to look like a typical 3GS, more closely resembles a technology breakthrough from the 1980s. Say "so long" to the aerodynamic curved edges of the old item — Gray's version has an entirely flat back and all of the features are more squared off. The slightly smaller screen goes against the expectation that the entire face would become an interactive touch screen. It's just a prototype though, so anything could change.
Gray answered phone calls from Gizmodo, implying that he's still got his gig in Cupertino. Brian Lam, the blog's editorial director, received a curt letter from Apple demanding the product be returned. The dispatch is the work of the company's security team, lovingly termed the Apple Gestapo, which according to ex-employees utilizes lockdowns and harsh threats of litigation to anyone who breaches Apple's airtight security.
It's a giant "my bad" on Powell's part and a marketing mishap for Apple. The whole mixup could very well be a promotional hoax, but for now, Silicon Valley is stone sober.
Watch a GIZMODO expert break down the new iPhone: