Taoviet, a tech blog based in Vietnam, is reporting today that they have gotten their hands on a fourth generation Apple iPhone, less than a month after Gizmodo’s infamous first leak. While Apple hasn’t confirmed anything, it does appear that the unit featured in Taoviet’s photos and YouTube video is authentic. The device, shown sporting a fireball and the “Inferno” app’s logo on its screen, has the same design as the one discovered at a bar in Palo Alto a few weeks ago. This iPhone is slightly different from Gizmodo’s, however, as it is missing the pair of screws that were present on the earlier prototype. Taoviet has also posted teardown photos of the iPhone, revealing an Apple-branded chip marked “339S0084” which appears to be the A4 microprocessor, as well as a sticker reading “N90,” the rumored internal codename for the next generation GSM iPhone.
I’m curious to see what Apple’s reaction to this second leak will be, considering their reputation for air-tight security on every aspect of their business. Considering their aggressive reaction to the first leak, which resulted in the police seizure of four computers from Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home, the folks at Taoviet have every reason to be nervous. But with that being said, it may prove more difficult for Apple to enforce the law or investigate oversees.
In my opinion, Apple should be thankful for the situation. Public interest in the fourth generation iPhone skyrocketed after the first leak, and it stands to reason that discussion and speculation will only increase with this new leak. The media has jumped on this story, with every major tech and news publication covering the leaks with details and photos of the new iPhone, resulting in an enormous amount of free publicity for Apple. The Cupertino-based company can hardly be ignorant of this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t exactly sorry that their security precautions fell through.
It is worth noting how convenient the timing of both these leaks has been for Apple. The first leak was reported within days of the release of the highly anticipated HTC Incredible, effectively pushing the latest edition to the Android family to the sideline as tech blogs rushed to cover the new iPhone. And this second leak comes on the exact same day as the release of HTC’s Evo 4G, which was slated to be one of Sprint‘s biggest product releases of the year. It is true that there may be short-term repercussions from these leaks: Android sales did overtake iPhone sales for the first time ever this month, suggesting that consumers may be holding out on buying their iPhones until this summer in anticipation for the new iPhone 4G because of the leaks. That said, I would be shocked if the iPhone 4G’s sales don’t retake Android sales this summer with of all this hype.
While Apple hasn’t yet released any statement about this latest leak, more details are likely to pour in soon. It is unlikely they’ll issue a statement, considering that they usually remain silent. After all, they never released an official statement on the Gizmodo leak, aside from a quick email sent to Jason Chen to arrange a time to reclaim their lost unit. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more developments, so stay tuned with Skatter Tech for more details in the coming days.