updated 06:10 pm EDT, Tue October 19, 2010
iPhone 4 N92 variant possibly seen in first photos
Apple's elusive CDMA iPhone 4, known to most as the N92, may have been spotted in a leak. The early version of the device, part of the DVT (design verification test) stage, purportedly arrived briefly in a repair shop in Vietnam loaded with the same Inferno test firmware Apple uses but identifying it as a new "N92DVT" variant. Richy Rich was told that it still had a micro SIM card slot, supporting theories that it may be dual-mode and either provide basic world roaming or serve as a true every-carrier model that replaces the existing iPhone.
The possibility also exists that the SIM slot may be a carryover or feint in prototypes that wouldn't give away Apple's plans.
While rumors such as these are tentative and should be treated with a high degree of caution, Vietnamese news sites, phone dealers and repair outlets were the sources of multiple, accurate leaks in the months before the original iPhone 4 was confirmed. Companies in the area often have ready access to pre-release prototypes from factories in China.
If recent stories are accurate, Apple is on the verge of producing CDMA iPhones after getting to the final stage of testing, known as AP. A launch on Verizon is increasingly expected for early next year and gained credulity with official Verizon sales of iPads beginning later this month.