Author: Michael Evans
No sooner do we replace one Apple rumour with fact than the next one rears its head. Having nicely dusted off the MacBook Pros last week and fully digested the iPad and iPhone OS 4 announcements, we are now looking forward with confidence to the iPhone 4G (not to be confused with OS 4).
Yesterday Engadget ran an "is this is?" picture which purported to be the new iPhone and there then followed other posts and other blogs maintaining that this was a spoof. However, later in the day Engadget came back with that they though could be proof. Macrumors weighed in with more information later on in the day but still no confirmations are emerging (as we would expect).
At the end of yesterday Macrumors had more supportive coverage, maintaining that "more people" are becoming convinced that the iPhone 4G images are indeed legitimate. They pointed me in the direction of John Gruber at Daring Fireball who is now leaning towards authenticity for the photographs. Says Gruber: "The factor that pushed me over the edge to believe it's authentic is the glass back. I know the trend for Apple of late has been toward unibody aluminium enclosures, but I think that works poorly for a phone, because the radios can't get a strong signal. Multiple sources familiar with the next iPhone have confirmed to me that the back is made out of some sort of fancy glass–and looks pretty much exactly like what's pictured at Engadget. That's not the only reason I believe Engadget's unit is legit, but it's one."
This idea of a glass back (or, maybe, a ceramic that looks like glass) is an interesting prospect. Everyone acknowledges that the radio reception is not as good as it should be on the current iPhone, and is likely to be even worse on the iPad with its aluminium back, so any move to improve that will be welcome. Other rumours for the new phone, including a front-facing camera, are pure fancy at this stage. Several commentators have said that the new phone (if, indeed, there is one) will make its appearance in June, by now traditional iPhone month. After the furore over the iPad, Apple will be keep to keep the initiative and a 4G phone, including the already announced OS 4 with multi-tasking, will upset the apple-cart for other smartphone manufacturers struggling to keep up with Cupertino.