New pictures of the next generation Apple iPhone have been leaked on a Vietnamese website, which has also done a full tear down of the device
It seems that Apple may have suffered yet another serious security leak, after fresh pictures emerged of the new Apple iPhone before its expected launch in June.
This time it is not US-based tech website Gizmodo, but rather Vietnamese site Taoviet that, in a move sure to do nothing for the blood pressure of Steve Jobs, has posted numerous pictures of a 16GB iPhone prototype, including a full tear down of the device.
Once again, the model appears to be a genuine Apple product, as an Apple branded processor is clearly visible in some of the tear down pictures of the device.
If this 16GB device does prove to be a legitimate Apple iPhone 4G, then serious questions will be raised over Apple’s corporate security practices, which are usually extremely effective at preventing product leaks.
There is no word on how the Vietnamese site actually got their hands on the device, but there is speculation that it could have been smuggled out of a manufacturing facility in that region, and some reports have suggested that $4,000 changed hands.
A video of the device has even appeared on YouTube.
Gizmodo All Over Again
The device does appear to slightly differ from the previous prototype that was controversially acquired by tech website Gizmodo for $5,000 earlier this month, after Apple engineer Gray Powell dropped it in a bar near the company’s headquarters.
It soon became apparent that Gizmodo actually had a genuine Apple prototype after the company demanded the return of the prototype. Gizmodo complied but then, in a controversial move, police raided Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s California home and removed several of his computers.
The move raised some serious legal questions over the protection of journalist sources, and now a number of heavyweight media organisations including the Associated Press and Bloomberg News have joined a court filing, in an effort to unseal the search warrant affidavit that backed the police raid.
The affidavit has remained sealed, despite the fact that, under California law, such documents would ordinarily have been revealed to the public after ten days.
These legal concerns do not seem to have worried Vietnamese site Taoviet, although the pictures have since been removed from their site. The damage has been done however, and the pictures have been widely distributed. Indeed, the pictures of the new device show that it is very similar to the one obtained by Gizmodo.
Engadget, for example, noted that the device has the same rough edges as the older Gizmodo version but, unlike the Gizmodo version, Taoviet’s model lacks the two protruding screws at the bottom. This, suggests Engadget, means that this device is a more refined prototype.
The pictures do confirm some of the changes of the new iPhone over its iPhone 3GS predecessor. This includes a new front-facing camera, a built-in Flash (no, not Adobe’s Flash, a flash for the camera) and a micro-SIM card slot.
Earlier this week, UK users were shown how to make a traditional SIM card fit into an Apple iPad, after a man obtained an iPad 3G from the US, and trimmed down a conventional SIM card so it would fit the device’s micro-SIM slot.