Gray Powell—a North Carolina State University 2006 graduate and talented amateur photographer—is an Apple Software Engineer working on the iPhone Baseband Software, the little program that enables the iPhone to make calls. On the night of March 18, he was enjoying the fine imported ales at Gourmet Haus Staudt, a nice German beer garden in Redwood City, California. “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. It was his last Facebook update from the secret iPhone. It was the last time he ever saw the iPhone, right before he abandoned it on bar stool, leaving to go home. The person who eventually ended up with the lost iPhone was sitting next to Powell. He was drinking with a friend too.
What’s new: • Front-facing video chat camera • Improved regular back-camera (the lens is quite noticeably larger than the iPhone 3GS) • Camera flash • Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad) • Improved display. It’s unclear if it’s the 960×640 display thrown around before—it certainly looks like it, with the “Connect to iTunes” screen displaying much higher resolution than on a 3GS • What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation, at the top, next to the headphone jack • Split buttons for volume • Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic.
What’s changed: • The back is entirely flat, made of either glass (more likely) or ceramic or shiny plastic in order for the cell signal to poke through. Tapping on the back makes a more hollow and higher pitched sound compared to tapping on the glass on the front/screen, but that could just be the orientation of components inside making for a different sound • An aluminum border going completely around the outside • Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution) • Everything is more squared off • 3 grams heavier • 16% Larger battery • Internals components are shrunken, miniaturized and reduced to make room for the larger battery.
More info: This Is Apple’s Next iPhone