updated 08:35 am EST, Tue November 3, 2009
China Ontrade leaks new iPhone midboard
Wholesaler China Ontrade has potentially provided a clue as to Apple's future plans by selling what it claims is a part for a fourth-generation iPhone. The "iPhone 4 generation midboard" reveals little about the device it's made for but appears to match the physical dimensions of what would be expected for an internal part in an iPhone, such as its length, its width and a places for the camera and Dock Connector. The store also claims to have photos of the full shell due soon and that the design has an "amazingly beautiful" back, hinting that it's not the same as for the iPhone 3G or 3GS.
The company claims to have obtained the part directly from Foxconn, one of Apple's frequently contracted suppliers.
Doubts remain about the part applying to a next-generation iPhone as it appears well out of cycle for Apple. To date, the American company has always released iPhone updates one year apart and wouldn't be producing parts for a new model just four months after releasing a new device. However, China Ontrade has historically been accurate and in one of its higher-profile leaks showed an iPhone 3GS bezel (albeit upside-down) just over a week before Apple unveiled the finished product.
If authentic, the midboard could represent an iPhone for a different network format rather than a significant reinvention, although the suggestion of a cosmetic change implies a more significant update. Technologies like CDMA and the soon to be ready LTE standard often require significantly different chipsets and may dictate a significantly different internal layout. [via Gizmodo]