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Engadget’s iPhone Pics Are “Legit”, iPhone 4G To Include Apple Processor, Ceramic Back

So many rumors about the next iPhone, still unofficially labelled as “4G”, have started spreading across the internet. Following Engadget’s report of what it looks like a prototype of the next iPhone - which someone apparently found in abar in San Jose - Dar ing Fireball’s John Gruber states that, after some calls, he believes that the iPhone Engadget pictures is indeed a prototype that Apple is “very interested in getting back”.

“I am not certain that this looks like 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. Put another way: the front looks legit, the back looks legit, but the sides I’m not sure about. A front-facing camera and 960 × 640 display are two things I believe 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.)”

While 80GB of storage sounds great to me, pay attention to what Gruber said between the lines: a new glass back. In an immediate follow up post he reports that Apple, back in 2006, patented the use of high durability ceramic materials (glass-like) as enclosures of electronic devices. Ceramic should have a glass-like appearance but sports more resistance to scratch, and it also should be radio transparent. Sounds very likely to me, as I firmly believe Apple is going to drop the current plastic back.

As for the internal specs of the new iPhone, 9to5Mac reports that Apple may include its own processor for the new model.

“iPhones have been using Samsung Electronics-produced APs that were partially designed by Apple engineers. But Apple has decided to use its own AP (Application Processor) starting for its 4G models,” a high-ranking industry executive told The Korea Times, Monday.”

I think this is a very likely option as well, considering what Apple did with the iPad, and also considering the great results of the A4 chip. Expect the rumors to grow even more in these next 30 days, before the start of the WWDC.

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