Prototype iPhone design was likely near-final, say sources

“The general look and feel of the prototype iPhone recently discovered and disassembled will likely be very similar to the final shipping product of the next-generation handset Apple will release this summer,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Citing sources familiar with Apple’s fourth-generation iPhone, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber revealed that the barcode affixed to the prototype device obtained by Gizmodo, which read ‘N90_DVT-GE4X_0493,’ gives insight into how far along Apple is in the design of its next-generation phone,” Hughes reports. “”N90′ is Apple’s codename for the fourth-generation GSM iPhone, slated for release this June or July,’ Gruber wrote. ”DVT’ stands for ‘design verification test,’ an Apple production milestone. The DVT milestone is very late in the game; based on this, I now believe that this unit very closely, if not exactly, resembles what Apple plans to release.'”

Hughes reports, “He went on to say that although Apple is extremely secretive about unreleased products, it simply must let the units be used off of its Cupertino, Calif., campus to be tested. Apple reportedly distributes dozens of near-final units for field testing months in advance. Gruber said this practice is even more widespread with the iPhone than other Apple-developed products, because of the extensive nature of cellular network testing.”

More info in the full article here.


  1. Mr. Jobs
    I would be more than happy to be a iPhone tester for Apple. You can see how it works in my area. Oh, by the way, I don’t hang out in bars anymore.

  2. Um, yeah, duh. Besides the nice decoding of the label, of course it’s almost the final version. It needs to be in production real soon, if it’s going to be shipping in six weeks or so.

    And, of course, they have to test a bunch of them in the real world. That’s one reason why we get such well-thought-out iPhones. Now, whether the ‘left in bar’ was reality, perhaps we’ll never know.

  3. 3 scenerios are at play here. 1. It is the actual phone. 2. It is not. Scenerio 1 the phone is in Beta testing and it was lost, which is highly unlikely this is a Billion Dollar market. A prized possesion like this being found in a bar two months away from unveiling is ludicrous to imagine. Scenerio 2. It is not the final prodruct and this has been leaked to the media. Both ways it its marketing genius. If Apple does release this phone then no one can complain about how average it is. Let’s face it. How much better can they make iPhone. It is light years away from theire nearest competitors, all they have added is a front facing camera with video chat. The guts and beauty of the phone is OS4. Scenerio 3 they showcase something totally out of left field, either way Apple will have a winner in theire hands. 

  4. Count me out on the iPhone4.
    I like the feel of the current model as it lays in my hand. I’ve had a few house bricks before I moved to iPhones and they were uncomfortable when laid in my palm so I guess it’s a good job I’m happy with my 3gs.

  5. Insides are from 4G, but otherwise it looks like a in-house proto machined out of aluminum. I wouldn’t be surprised if the production model is still the same as the current model execpt a bit more square. In a way I like the alu iPad design, maybe Apple will make the back similar.

  6. Lol @silverhawk, I was going to say the same thing.

    And before the poor guy gets crucified, you don’t have to get drunk and/or go in a bar to lose a phone; twice I’ve had mine come off my belt and get left in a restaurant and a movie theater. Luckily I recovered it both times because some nice soul turned it in rather than stole it….

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