iPhone 4G (iPhone HD) gets previewed - looks like the real deal

iPhone G4 iPhone HD pics

Gizmodo got their hands on that lost iPhone G4 (iPhone HD/iPhone 4G/etc) prototype purportedly lost then found in a San Jose bar and reported on extensively yesterday. They've given it a thorough, geektonic once-over and here's the take away:

  • Front-facing camera, bigger back camera with flash
  • MicroSIM (like iPad)
  • Higher res screen (exact dimensions unknown but could be the rumored 960x640)
  • Potential second mic for noise cancellation
  • All metal power, mute, and volume buttons

  • Flat form-factor that's more squared-off with an aluminum outer border

  • Shiny glass/plastic (ceramic?) back
  • Slightly smaller and 3 grams beefier than iPhone 3GS
  • Battery is 16% bigger, made possible by shrinking everything else

Giz claims they've been playing with the 4th gen iPhone for about a week (?!) and they think its the real deal. They have some videos up and tons more info as well so check out the link up top for more and let us know what you think. This looks like an honest-to-Jobs unfinished 4th gen iPhone -- do you like it?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iPhone 4G (iPhone HD) gets previewed - looks like the real deal

144 Comments

If it's true that it has a higher screen resolution, app developers are going to have to get used to accommodating these different screen sizes. More APIs to learn...

reminds me of the Nokia N96 somehow ! O_____o
btw it looks ugly.. wont buy G4 if it has no curves lol

This thing looks terrible...the side buttons look like an old Sony T series. With the MBP and MB lines moving to unibody, the release of iPad, why would we believe these hard lines are the future of iPhone design? I'll eat my 3gs if this is iPhone 4...

Please let this be fake! It is, by far, the ugliest phone I have seen. Ugly buttons, flat chassi, big fat chunky device. If it turns out to be the real thing, I most certainly will stick to my 1.gen iphone…darn, I been waiting for 4G (4th gen) for a long time now. And it looks like I have to wait another year, June 2011.

The strangest thing about this story is that someone apparently found a lost phone in a bar (in a protective case, even), and instead of giving it to the bartender they took it home and disassembled it.

I think it's ugly too. I'm looking forward to seeing the actual phone in June and i'm hoping it won't look like this one. If it does I might just ride out it till next year. I'll have my upgrade to use by then anyway.

this is NOT going to be good for apple, if this is the real thing i will NOT even think about it, UGLY LOOKING PHONE !!!
i think iphone will never succeed with this new shape.
tooooooo bad apple !!

Gizmodo have photos of it next to a 3GS and it is THINNER than the 3GS. The design is growing on me.
In any case this is either the scoop of the year or a brilliant viral marketing campaign.
Something isn't quite right though. Engadget were getting 'exclusive' shots of the device over the weekend and yet Gizmodo apparently had in in their hands for a week! And both say it was found in a bar.

This could be a set up by 'ol Steve himself. Smart guy with past clever tactics. Place a prototype out in public and claim someone lost it. Great way to throw people and developers off.
I doubt this would be a final product of an Apple device, it looks horible.

These comments sound just like the comments after pics of the "fatty" 3rd generation nano were leaked.

I really like the design. Not a fan of the volume buttons, but the phone is sexy. Hardly a big fat chunky device. It looks thinner--see pics next to 3GS; and I believe the article even says it is thinner.

Ok we have to remember this is supose to be a prototype, this most likely is not the real deal, they still have alot of time to give it a defferant look. Yeah I know this thing looks like a ugly person you would not want to take on a date, But give it some time. nothing that some plastic surgery can't fix. The new iPhone will be sexy phone, that other people will want to cheat on there phone with.

At first I thought it was ugly, but after carefully examining the Gizmodo photos at full resolution, the design is growing on me. Placed next to a 3GS, it's thinner and makes the 3GS design look dated. And flat might be the only way they can craft a working ceramic back. Guess we'll see in June.

I don't like the seams. Also, if this was a true representation of the 4th generation iPhone, wouldn't Apple issue a cease and desist order? I don't mind an iPad like design on the new iPhone if need be.

I been holding to see what the new iPhone brings to the table before I buy htc product
If this is the real deal Well I made a decision
and it's not the new iBrick (put an antenna and looks like the phone from a night at the Rocksbury)
Come on apple don't let it be the real deal or I c people running away if it is hahahha love it

If it real great :D
If it is a planted Apple prototype well done them :) we might have a bigger surprise when it is launched.
I like it. And going from 3g to that will be a great leap.

I really like it, also. But just because it's real doesn't necessarily mean this is the final design.
I'm off to go look at spray paints now.

I bet this is fake and some man or woman is laughing their ass off at all this "leaked information and photos" appearing online.

Gizmodo, and others here, are actually incorrect in claiming the MacBooks aren't rounded. The back of the MacBook's monitor (which is attached to the black glass) is indeed, rounded... as is the iPad's.

ugly? this is much nicer then the model we have now. I'll be happy to upgrade while you guys keep compaining u bunch of crybaby's. waaaaaaaaaaaaa i want curved edges. give me a break

It looks okay. I'm not overly happy with the design but I know when it comes out I'll still probably get it. I actually like the look of the so called- iPhone HD in the YouTube videos. Who really knows. This could be it or it could be the furthest from the truth. One thing I do like and love is all of the next generation iPhone talk. It has me very excited!!!!!

So since this has a MicroSIM does that mean us unlockers (t-mobile) are now out of luck? I will never sign up with ATT...

Nicer than the existing iphone design, but not sure that this will ultimately spec out better than the Evo...

i think it looks beautiful. i especially like how innocuous the cameras look, they blend into the design in a wonderfully understated way.
i think the final design will be slightly different though, possibly without the front facing camera.

looking at the two side by side, the new iphone looks much sleeker:
http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2010/04/500x_comp1.jpg
the 3GS looks bloated by comparison.
also, i imagine this thing is a delight to hold. metal and glass alone will result in a much better build quality and feel than metal, glass and plastic.
i'm curious if those who think the design is ugly have any reasons why they think so, other than that it doesn't look "flashy" enough? personally, i think it looks higher quality, more refined and sleeker than the previous designs.
i miss the "feel" of the first generation phone, compared to the 3G series phones, which always felt a little bit cheaply made by comparison. i'm looking forward to seeing apple get back to that high build quality feel, fit and finish.

You can't really judge it until you hold it and play with it. The weight and feel of it definitely will factor in. Either way, I think it looks nice.

Hell NO, NOoooo, Hell No... and so on Hell NOOOOOOO !!!!!
Its damn ugly, I will buy one take it apart and install it into an iphone 3GS case, lol :D
Nah, lets be serious the front looks nice, but anything else is crap.
Next "real thing" rumor please !!!
To tipb: Guys please please stop posting these rumors I beg you :D ... nah ... keep posting I love them :))

It's not the new iPhone and you all know it. These sites are doing the same thing they do every year. Throw something out there that has iPhone on at to throw people off till June. And to keep the hype going. Sorry but this looks like something that would be cool in the 90's.

I'm liking it. Half of you throw it in a case anyways..what's the point?
I also like the screen being the same size or slightly smaller. So glad they didn't go the Evo route..

To those claiming these types of leaks always come out and turn out to be fake, I don't think there's ever been an iPhone leak quite like this. The thing is quite polished to be a fake. Also, I think the biggest "smoking gun" here is the micro-sim slot. While I think it's true the form factor could end up being different, you can pretty much bank on the new iPhone having a front facing camera, flash, higher res screen, bigger battery, etc.

there's also something really elegant about how the front looks so similar to the back, especially with both sides having a camera.
"Sorry but this looks like something that would be cool in the 90’s."
apple design has never been about cool trends. it is about iconic, functional, timeless design. this certainly fits the bill. if you want to learn about how apple [and Ive specifically] approaches design, i recommend watching the film "Objectified", which contains an interview with Ive.
watch the interview and see how the design objectives don't start from the point of making the product "look cool", but by elevating the aesthetic qualities of the most functional, well thought out possible design.

the 2 buttons are for more functions, besides volume, camera shot or for games (imagine, you have a racing game and want to switch perspective, or look back etc.) with the current volume-buttons this is not really possible.

I like the look of it. The evidence does seem to indicate that Apple had a hand in designing this thing, but I'm not quite ready to jump from that to the conclusion that "this is definitely THE iPhone that Apple is releasing this year." Seems to me that it could be a prototype that might still be significantly different than the final consumer product.

After giving the new phone a good look at Giz, I think it looks really nice. Nice, of course, is not something that I would expect from Apple - I expect to have my hair stand on end and my socks blown off.
The specs sound wonderful - though a smaller screen? - and if the camera is really an upgrade (ie. the pics are actually better, versus just having better specs), then it will be a good upgrade. + iPhone OS 4.0 = killer.
All that being said - I'm very glad that I went ahead and bought my white 3GS. And if 4.0 doesn't kill Stoneloops, that upgrade to the 3GS will be plenty for me.
I reserve the right to change my mind once I actually get my hands on the new phone! :D

this Jr. High rumor marketing is F'N ANNOYING!!! the "new" form makes no sense. Mac pros n' ipads r comin' out slim and w curves. So the new iPhone is gonna be a brick?! Boooooo! If it is true I'm not buying. I'll stay with my 3g with multi-tasking.

@Joe McG:
True, Every release we fall for this, like Lucy jerking the football away from Charlie Brown, and every time its fake.
But this is the most elaborate fake ever, one "leaked" into the hands of a web site. A site that promptly took it apart.
(I wonder what the consequences are to Gismodo for taking apart a device they knew was not theirs, and they knew who the owner was. Can these guys be that confident lawyers won't descend on them?)
Not Fake but a Plant is my guess. A diversionary plant.

Why would apple want to do divert anything from iPad sales right now? I'm betting they'd like that device back right about now.

If you compare the size the new phone does seem sleeker. From certain angles though (notably back, sides) the 3GS looks like the more futuristic phone and the hard angles of the 4G/HD an older design.
On another note, I don't think the look of the 4G/HD would translate well as an ipod touch. I wonder if the ipod touch will continue the current curvy shape.

Looks great to me. The side by side pic makes the chrome 3GS look dated and the frame around the new screen looks like it is only about 2mm. That is a big improvement.
....but is it real? Seems likely.

@icebike
Totally agree. Although I think it's important to point out that it is not impossible that an actual iPhone 4 gets out by accident. In fact, it's amazing that it doesn't happen more often.

not a rhetorical question - why does "looks more futuristic" equate to "looking better"?
and what makes something look more futuristic? smooth curves? why should smooth curves represent the future?

This is the most polished "fake" to date. I still think its a prototype, maybe even years old, but who knows. If I were a betting man I'd say the G4 iPhone will be different than this, but if this it, I'm getting it :-)

@striatic:
Rhetorical non-Answer: It doesn't look more futuristic, and it doesn't look any better. Its a pretty ugly phone if you ask me.
Design trends make something look newer if it is different than what is common. Slab sidedness in a world of smooth phones makes it look different, but it could also simply be an industrial case design designed for dropping in different test assemblies. Smooth fits in pockets, purses. slabsidedness abandons everything Apple ever did with this phone.
Jony Ivy is dead.

Doesnt it seem a little weird that someone would leave a "prototype" just sitting there in a bar???? Seriously! No one who would have been lucky enough to test one would be careless enough to leave it anywhere accidently. I think this is all planted to get everyone talking about the new phone.

A smaller screen? Look at it! There's plenty of room to make the screen bigger! I want to see more of my higher res apps not less of them!!

For everyonewho says this is ugly.. As soon as Stevie dreamseller tells you how beautiful and amazing this phone is.. You will all be on here repeating what he says word for word because everyone knows all you fanboy are sheep

"We found a phone that we know doesn't belong to us so naturally we kept it and stripped the sh*t out of it."
Nothing wrong with that.

NOO! this looks ugly... and a mirosd slot? WTF?! i dont want no micro sd... i mean we will be getting a 64GB version right? -.-darn brick. Looks like a brick now... i wanted the 3GS form factor

@ruben cruz nah not really. Not all of us are fanboys. If THAT is the thing that's coming out, i'll have to test it out BEFORe jumping in to see if it... well idk, i like it and it feels comfortable.

"Hypothetically" if this is the new iPhone...
- the design looks a lot like Apple's notebook designs. I know some people don't, but I actually like it a lot to be honest.
- a smaller screen, even if it is of a better resolution, would not be a good thing.
- Video chat is really going to put some strain (I would think) on the networks, but I suspect it would finally bring video chat to the main stream. Betcha those people that got the 6GB data plan from Rogers (Canada) are going "phew" and smiling. :)

Quick question: the earlier photos did not have an Apple logo, nor did they say iPhone on the back.
Where exactly did this SECOND one come from?

If it's real, (it might be)...against all my better judgement, I really like the way it looks. I'm usually all for curves, but I actually like it.
Sadly, I'm tied into my 3GS contract until at least March 2011, and I can't be bothered to buy it out yet again (unless I get super rich), so I'll probably just have to wait for the 2011 model.

I think it's a real Apple prototype, but I wonder whether there is more than one prototype with different designs at this stage.
I'll admit that I'm surprised by the front facing camera.

I think its fake because it has the FCC logo..... if Apple had the 4th gen iphone Approved by the FCC we would have found out about it by now...

Did I mention how much I hate that it has a smaller screen?
Other than that it's a pretty cool design. The back is absolutely stunning. I love how it's flat, and the camera and flash don't protrude or sink into it. I'm not too crazy about the sides or the volume buttons, but when you think about functionality, the buttons almost seem like they could be used for some pretty cool stuff like a camera shutter button or game buttons. Now if they only had made the screen bigger I would've been so happy :/

So if the next one does get a micro SIM, does that increase the value of used 3GS's sold to T-Mobile customers. I'm thinking it might. If so, I know I'll be selling my jailbroken 3GS and buying the new model for little out of pocket.

@Lollipopjones:
The FCC id is clearly a place holder. Its full of XXXXXs.
The question is, why put that on the phone at all? Isn't putting an FCC id on a device (even a bogus ID) sort of like fraud? How about those other symbols from other testing/certification agencies? More Fraud?

This is obviously not what the final product is going to look like. I heard somebody say that it's mocked up this way so that they can hide the phones in 3G/s style cases. I would be willing to bet the new back will be designed much like the ipad. This is clearly just a prototype used to test reception in real world situations. There is no way Apple would ship this out... those of you who say they like it are just in denial and think everything Apple does is amazing. No way, no how is this the finished production model.

Two Questions?

  1. Will the ceramic, glass, or thin plastic back allow "magic mouse"-like gestures on the backside of the device? Was there any electronics attached to it similar to how a "magic-mouse" does it?
  2. Do ya think maybe that micro sim could be "legally" put into an iPad allowing you to use your dataplan if you're willing to have your phone not working during that time? (A tiny reward for iPad & iPhone HD buyers?)

I got news for those wanting to use those little buttons for games — they'll last about two weeks, if that long. :roll:

@Ruben Cruz
And tell us what you like. What's your phone of choice? And how does that not make you a sheep? You see, we all may have our own opinions but Every opinion is rooted in what someone else 'thinks'. So before you call everyone sheep that truly like an Apple product, maybe you should look in the mirror because everything we own is because 'we' like it. Troll on Cruz.

Hmmm...
If this were really "lost" for a week, you can BET Jobs would have people all over looking for it AND they would be watching all the iPhone/Gadget sites every minute for it to possibly surface. I would bet there would be lawyers with C&D orders hitting all of the sites, as well as a visit to the offices of the folks that currently have the device in their possesion. This article would have been pulled 5 minutes after it went live and the device immidiately returned. I call fake or deliberate mis-information. Just my .02!

TERRIBLE! No way Jobs releases a phone this UGLY. Extremely hard to believe this crap is the next gen iPhone. I call BS.

Guys2.. Google this on the net please.. To stop the embarrasement.. This thing's a fake from japan/ china.. There were earlier pics from last year or so lokks exactly like this.. Apparently in china they do make phones( different form: candy bar, slide.etc) and attach apple logo on them. Just for fun i guess?
Can tipb check that my finding is correct?
This thing looks ugly and non-appley btw :)

I personally really dig the new design. Of course, I'm aware it may or may not be final but as it is now, I would buy it like that. Looks good, clean and edgy.

Q: Is the published 4g on gizmodo the final device, a prototype or a fake?
A prototype, we need to know what people think about a possible new design.
Steve
sent from my iPhone

I can't wait. Totally buying it.
So long Nexus one piece of garbage, was getting sick of Android Apps... seriously

In my country this would see them charged with theft by find, and probably tacked on there would be to gain an advantage (more hits = more revenue)
If I "find" something in the US, I can just keep it. Cool...

Why does it never turn on? Because its fake. Someone is scamming the entire internet. Yeah right I found it on a bar floor? Yeah, I have one of these phones too. Apple accidentally mailed it to my house. This phone is a fake.

i dunno why people are acting like they wont buy this thing i know i will!! i mean seriously if you can buy a fone thats been the same for almost 3 years in a row with little hard wear changes and changes far as software i know millions of ppl will upgrade to this just wait till june yall who says its ugly will jump all over DONT WANNA FEEL LEFT out when sumone walks past with the shiney NEW iphone I KNO I WONT cuz im buying it lol

This thing looks better than any of the previous phone designs. Large, clunky, brick-like? LOL! It's smaller than the 3GS, or did you not read Gizmodo's article. You know, the guys that have the above phone in their actual possession. For every cry baby talking about it being ugly, you know damn well you will buy the phone. The majority of people I've ever seen with a iPhone, have a case on it, so what the hell does it matter then anyway. Regardless of what it looks like, if you are a fan of the iPhone for its clear leadership in the class of devices, the app store, and everything else it is and does right, you WILL buy the phone. Crying here in CAPS just because you think Apple will change whatever design it has already settled for, is ridiculous.
If you aren't a fan of iPhone, what are you doing on a blog dedicated specifically to it? If you are a fan and think you won't buy the phone if it looks like the above, you are clearly smoking crack. Good news is, I'll be your dealer. :D

I would think this was a 3gs prototype, not a 4th gen phone. In fact no one mentioned the fabled a4 chip, that is supposed to be in this bugger. So if they tore it down they defiantly found a test devise not the real thing.

Wow too many comments to read. I don't like it, it makes it look older. I think pretty soon we will see the leaked cases just like when new nano came out and then we all have a general idea of the new look if any.

Micro SIM?! WTF Apple?!
A HUGE advantage of the GSM standard is the ubiquitous SIM card used in 99.99% of GSM phones.
Why Steve? Why?!

I think it's fake. How would anyone forget this in a bar? Just walking around with a prototype of something as top secret as this would ensure I was constantly aware of it's location at all times.
Probably a college student playing a trick on us. It looks a bit lack lustre to be a real iDevice.
It's pretty convieniant that it is deactivated and not shown functional.
I'm not convinced.

I think it looks fine. Certainly NOT ugly. But for crying out loud, it's not a car, it's a phone. The looks are a very small part of the decision of what smart phone to buy. If looks was the only negitive how can you not buy it.

wait, rene? a prototype is likely to have a different shell than the finished model, right? like one article said it was disguised to look like a 3GS?

So Gizmodo either stole this, bought stolen goods and THEN DESTROYED stolen goods knowing well it was lost or stolen from Apple by disassembling it. They should be HUGELY LIABLE. And this from someone who thinks Apple is usually full of legal crap.
This is NOT news gathering. This is illegal.
Gizmodo are frankly THIEVES AND VANDALS.

Wait, how did it not occur to you'll that Steve Jobs could've purposely left this "prototype" lying around in a bar for the whole world to discover just so that it deviates attention from the real thing.
Think about it, a month or two before the 3GS' launch Chinese websites had specs pasted all over, which eventually turned out to be true.
Same with 3G.
Wanting to probably avoid that this time around, Jobs sneaks in a very convincing looking iPhone "G4" and is probably rubbing his palms and snickering to himself at how the whole Apple universe fell for it.
Do you really beleive that a prototype of the most awaited device of the year(as is the case every year) could've been carelessly 'forgotten' at a bar? Apple is not known to make elementary mistakes like that.

I don't really like the look of it. I prefer my 3gs to this bulkier look. But I'm sure I'll end up changing my mind once the commercials start rolling out. ;p and the guy that "lost" this either has a corner office now or has been incinerated by Steve. Haha

Absolutely a bad design... I hope these rumours will be a fake or this time Apple has done a terrible job!