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Yet another iPhone prototype lost

Another prototype of the new iPhone has been snatched from Apple, this time, it appeared on Vietnamese site The last one had been snagged by Gizmodo.

world Updated: May 13, 2010 13:38 IST

A video of what is believed to be a prototype of Apple’s next generation iPhone that was found in Vietnam was whizzing around the Internet on Thursday.

The gadget, which several tech websites have identified as similar to a version found in a bar last month in California, was shown to a mobile phone accessory dealer in Ho Chi Minh City.

“It’s a real Apple product,” the dealer, Tran Manh Hiep, told AFP. “I plugged it into iTunes and it recognised it as an Apple device.”

He said the prototype 4th generation iPhone was not his but was shown to him by a customer on Wednesday. He then filmed it, he said, and posted the video on a forum, Tinh Te, for which he is a moderator.

He did not explain how the device, which has a front facing camera, arrived in Vietnam.
He added that the iPhone he saw was very similar to the one published on technology blog Gizmodo but still seemed “newer”, with small changes such as the absence of two screws on the underside.

Details of the first “leaked” device were published on technology blog Gizmodo after it was left on a barstool in California by an Apple engineer.

Gizmodo bought it from the man who found it, Brian Hogan, tech magazine Wired said last month. Hogan was later interviewed by law enforcement but not charged with any crime.

That iPhone had been disguised to resemble the previous model iPhone, the iPhone 3GS.

California police later raided the home of Jason Chen, the editor for Gizmodo who published details of the iPhone prototype, which the technology blog has said it purchased for 5,000 dollars.

Gizmodo has since returned the iPhone prototype to Apple after the notoriously secretive company asked for its return.

According to Gizmodo, features of the new phone, expected to be unveiled later this year, include a front-facing video camera for video chat, a flash and an improved regular camera with a larger lens.

It also has a flat back instead of curved back, is thinner than the 3GS, is three grams heavier and has a battery that is 16 percent larger.

First Published: May 13, 2010 11:10 IST