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Technology bloggers have posted photos of what appears to be the next version of Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and if the images are real, the device will be getting a clearer display, longer battery life and a camera in the front that could be used for video conferencing.
And according to one Web site that unveiled the phone, the device was left at a bar by Gray Powell, an Apple employee and a 2006 graduate of N.C. State.
“Apple Software Engineer named Gray Powell” made “the honest mistake … of losing the next-generation iPhone,” The site said Powell is an “Apple Software Engineer working on the iPhone Baseband Software, the little program that enables the iPhone to make calls. A dream job for a talented engineer like Powell, an Apple fan who always wanted to meet Steve Jobs.”
The phone was left at a bar in Redwood City, Calif. on March 18.
“’I underestimated how good German beer is,’ he typed into the next-generation iPhone he was testing on the field, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3GS,” Gizmodo reported.
AOL Inc.’s on Saturday that were taken by an unknown person of an iPhone-esque device.
On Monday, Gawker Media Inc.’s Gizmodo, a competing gadget blog, had the phone in its possession and Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, said the company paid $5,000 for the phone.
Both websites said the iPhone had been lost in a bar. Gizmodo called the device "the real thing" and offered detailed evidence to support the assertion.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), which is notoriously secretive about future products, did not return messages seeking comment.
Like the existing iPhones, the device in the photos has a black face with a single button. But the device is slimmer and its sides are squared, not curved. The back is shiny and dark, unlike the aluminum casing Apple currently uses. The photos show a front-facing camera that could be used for video conferencing and a different configuration of buttons along the side.
The back of the device doesn’t say how many gigabytes of storage the device comes with — instead, it’s marked "XXGB."
The phone wouldn’t start up, but the locked screen that appeared when Gizmodo plugged it into a computer looked brighter and sharper than an existing iPhone.
Gizmodo also said the camera lens on the back is larger than on current iPhones. When the bloggers took the device apart, they found a bigger battery.
Engadget’s post described the phone as "found on the floor of a San Jose (Calif.) bar." At some point, the phone was running different operating software than the current iPhone models, then stopped turning on. Engadget declined to comment on the source of its photos or information.
Gizmodo said the phone was found in a bar in Redwood City, Calif., about 20 miles from San Jose.
Apple made an upcoming version of its iPhone operating system available to outside software developers, and said the new software would make its way to iPhones and the iPod Touch this summer. Analysts have said they think Apple could update the iPhone hardware at the same time.