iPhone 4G found in bar, facts suggest likely to be real thing

We already know what the operating system for the next iPhone will look like thanks to the company's new iPhone 4.0 OS and now it seems we will know what the new hardware will look like too with a number of stories coming together over the weekend to reveal the yet to be officially announced iPhone 4G (fourth generation).

Out are the curves, in a MacBook and iPad aluminium straight edge design if the spy shots are to be believed.

The story started on Saturday with spy shots of a new handset turning up on Engadget after a tipster supposedly found a prototype iPhone 4G on the floor of a San Jose bar inside a iPhone 3G case and sent them some images.

Those shots got a quick debunking by MacRumors, suggesting that the images were actually of a Japanese counterfeit rather than the next iPhone from Apple.

But by Sunday, Engadget had discovered that the phone had actually featured in a spy shot they had already posted on the eve of the iPad unveiling back in February and therefore more likely to be real after all.

To cement the rumour and speculation further, images have now turned up including a twitpic dated to February and a collection of images on a Chinese website showing chassis parts that fit in with the design of the spy shots.

Furthermore, we've had a UK site, who wants to remain anonymous for the moment, tell Pocket-lint that they were approached to buy images and information that matched the leaked images on 3 April, but decided that it could be a hoax and therefore steered clear.

Details so far gleaned from the spy shots, and additional sources, who have also confirmed to Engadget that it is the new Apple iPhone, suggest: "a higher res screen on-board, a front-facing camera, a higher resolution camera with flash, and takes MicroSIM cards (that's the little "button" around the side you see in the Twitpic which is floating around the internet)."

With so many sources coming together it's hard to believe that at least some, if not all, of the information is true, making this either one of the most elaborate hoaxes in the history of Apple launches or really just the real deal.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Update: Gizmodo's got a whole load of pictures and video, too.