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Best of Smartphone Experts, 18 April 2010

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Verizon Android Incredible vs iPhone

Our sibling site Android Central has just published a full review of the Verizon Droid Incredible -- the latest Google superphone Android competition to the iPhone. (And yes, it does seem like they're coming more than once a month now -- we feel bad for Phil!).

It's pretty much a gussied-up Nexus One with Sense UI, which you'd think would make it a Desire but it bumps a few specs (like an 8mp camera with dual LED flash) and a CDMA radio (which the Nexus One was supposed to do but hasn't yet, and the iPhone keeps being rumored to do but hasn't yet either).

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So is this Apple's next iPhone (iPhone 4G)?

Engadget is now standing firm behind those images of an "iPhone 4G" they posted yesterday, claiming pictures they nabbed right before the iPad launch as proof it's not just a knock-off. And what's more:

a source -- who confirms this is the next Apple iPhone -- also tells us that the device apparently does have a higher res screen on-board, a front-facing camera, a higher resolution camera with flash, and takes MicroSIM cards.

Not only that, MacRumor's forums claim to have pictures from a Chinese website showing the guts of the device.

We're still saying it can't be called an iPhone 4G, since Apple used iPhone 3G for the 2nd generation due to its 3G radio, and likely would do the same for an iPhone 4G, signifying a 4G LTE radio -- which won't be supported in the US until 2011 at the earliest. iPhone HD is still a candidate, however, due to the higher resolution screen.

Now this still looks so different, so cobbled together that, if it does indeed come from Apple's labs, it's more likely prototype hardware than finished design -- a way to test the guts of the machine and how it works with new software features.

UPDATE: Daring Fireball claims to have called "around" (read: into Apple contacts) and now believes:

this is an actual unit from Apple — a unit Apple is very interested in getting back. I am not certain that this is the actual production unit Apple intends to ship to consumers. I think it’s a testbed frame — thicker, with visible (un-Apple-like) seams, meant to fit in 3GS cases so as to disguise units out in the wild. It’s hard to tell from the photos. But I think it is the real deal in terms of the internals and display being next-gen iPhone hardware, and the new glass back. A front-facing camera and 960 × 640 display are two things I know are slated for the next iPhone. (The “80 GB” of storage sounds like a mistake to me, but who knows? SSD storage typically comes only in even power-of-two increments.)

Either way, given the blogsphere reaction, it sure does take attention way from what Android and Verizon are getting ready, doesn't it?

Given the differences between it and current iPhone models, do you hope this is the direction they're actually going, or that the final iPhone 4G looks nothing like it?

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Quick review: Asphalt 5 HD for iPad

Asphalt 5 HD [$6.99 - iTunes Link] for iPad from Gameloft is a game that does not take the speed limit into consideration. Just the opposite. Nitro bursting, vehicle demolishing street racing combined with great graphics and smooth controls is what makes this game a joy to play.

Just hold the iPad in your hands as you would a steering wheel and turn it in the direction you want to move. I love using the accelerometer, but if for some reason you don't, Asphalt 5 HD also offer a virtual steering wheel and touch screen controls. Nitro is a tap away and gives you a speed boost. Oh, and you can break (I think, never used it).

There are over 30 cars for you to enjoy including a Ferrari 599 XX, Lambourghini and Ducati, and there are also 12 locations to play. Gaming options include straight up races, or if you are one of the more aggressive drivers (can someone say road rage) you can try to eliminate the other drivers by side-swiping them off the road. If doing a regular race bores you, Gameloft has also added a whole bunch of different modes of play: drift, cop chase, time attack, duel mode, last man standing and escape. Want to play against your friends? Multiplayer modes can be accessed through bluetooth or online.

Stay with us after the break for picture and video proof of why you would never want me to drive your car!

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UPDATED: Images of iPhone 4G/iPhone HD turn out to be a knock-off

UDPATE: Engadget initially updated their story on the iPhone G4 (not iPhone 4G!) to include the information below, then removed the update, their editor-in-chief stating on Twitter that a "major update is coming". So, we'll file this under "developing" for now...

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iPhone OS 4 beta 1 redsn0w 0.9.5 jailbreak tool for devs now available

Just the other day iPhone Dev Team member, MuscleNerd, announced the release of iPhone 4.0 redsn0w 0.9.5 beta for developers and now he has announced beta number 2 0 [download link].

Since most jailbroken apps are currently busted in the iPhone O4 beta, this particular version of redsn0w is meant to be used solely by developers to fix their jailbreak apps and should not be used by anyone else.

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No, this isn't the iPhone 4G but could it be an iPhone HD prototype?

Engadget has some pictures of up of what's purporting to be an iPhone 4G (which it can't be because there aren't any GSM 4G networks for it to run on), but could it be an iPhone HD (or whatever the iPhone G4 ends up being called) prototype of some sorts?

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Sprint makes the case for iPad 4G. Literally.

Sprint is making the case for an iPad 4G -- literally, in leather with pockets for both an iPad Wi-Fi and an Overdrive (think MiFi but with WiMax speed).

The 4G Case has a pocket to house an Overdrive3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, so you can simultaneously connect your iPad™ and four more Wi-Fi enabled devices at 4G speeds anywhere within 4G coverage areas. Meaning now you can use your iPad™ for everything it was built for, and then some.

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UPDATED: RIM CEO: No market for iPad, iPhone not popular

UPDATE: TiPb was sent a transcript of the TD Newcrest Technology Conference, including the comments by RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridi, so here they are in their entirety. On tablets:

Well. The trends we’ve been following have been an -- there’s been, over the last three to four years, organizations have discovered the value of smartphones clearly, and that’s why we’re here, and that’s what we’re talking. And smartphones are always starting to space the need for laptops, but not all laptops, and not all needs. And I know that there are risks organizations that ask their customers when they join, when get hired, do you want a smartphone or a laptop very few get the opportunity to have both. So I think that’s an important thing, those are differentiated.

So the question you have ask yourself is when it comes to tablet, what market or what opportunities still it’s solving, what problem is it solving, and is it just a replacement laptop. I think that’s a difficult one to judge. But I think again if you look at what’s happening with smartphones are getting bigger, screens are getting bigger and getting more powerful and faster CPUs, more memory, we go in the 4G networks, we’ve got Wi-Fi, it’s just got everything, the operating systems are becoming more, more powerful, the tools are becoming more, more powerful, more applications are being developed, and are being used in more and more both enterprise and consumer spaces. So, I think at this point if you have to take the whole thing into consideration, you can’t say what’s the market for tablets in exclusion of the other devices, you have to put the whole thing together and I don’t think it’s that clear yet.

On touchscreen phones:

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AT&T blocks June holidays again -- countdown to iPhone HD

BGR claims AT&T has begun their yearly tradition of blocking employee holidays for the month of June in anticipation of the 4th generation iPhone (not iPhone 4G but possibly iPhone HD) launch.

A June block suggests a launch that could be as early as last year's June 17 iPhone 3GS affair, but is also consistent with previous years' late-June releases.

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