Next-gen iPhone appears on internet?

Apple engineer said to have left it in a bar.

The first images of the fourth-generation iPhone have appeared on the internet.

That's according to Gizmodo, anyway, which has current ownership of the alleged prototype and reckons it's for real.

The new phone is said to feature a better camera, secondary mic and separate volume buttons. It also has a flat rather than curved back, 16 per cent larger battery and a screen which is slightly smaller than the 3GS but appears to be higher resolution. The phone is 3 grams heavier than the current 3GS model.

"After playing with it for about a week, the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone," said Gizmodo's Jason Chen. "Disassembling this unit, there is so much evidence stacked in its favour, that there's very little possibility that it's a fake. In fact, the possibility is almost none."

Adding fuel to the fire is another report which claims to detail how the phone was lost. Apparently Apple engineer Gray Powell left it in a Redwood City bar, where it was picked up by another random drinker. The phone was in a special case designed to make it look like a current-gen model.

Powell seems to have kept his job at Apple - for now, anyway.

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