On February 21 this year, a Tennessee kid with the Twitter screen name TUDream (TheUltimateDream) googled “iPhone 4G.” He discovered the image above, which he stated was “a pic uploaded by a chinese tweeter.” TUDream Twitpic’d the image and probably went about his business. Until today, that is, when Gizmodo published the Apple scoop to end all Apple scoops – a complete detailing of the specs for a next-gen iPhone found in a California bar in the middle of March.
Now it looks as though TUDream’s random image search may have popped up a photo of the real thing about a month before Gizmodo got their hands on the model Apple engineer Gray Powell left behind in that Redwood City bar. If you examine the full-sized image uploaded by TUDream on Feb. 21, you can see it has most of the unique features lovingly detailed in Gizmodo’s massively popular posts published today: the dual up and down volume buttons, aluminum banding instead of the earlier iPhone more rounded, integrated design – the images track together.
Technically, he didn’t exactly scoop the Gawker Media gadget blog because he had no idea what he was really looking at. And here’s the other thing – there’s no guarantee the actual new phone introduced in June will look like this in the end. No one familiar with Apple’s Machiavellian practices and brilliant knack for building buzz would put it past them to put some plants in the wild.
If the image above as well as Gizmodo’s phone are the real deal, however, then this will mark a couple of the bigger breaches in Apple’s legendary security in recent history. Either proposition – that this is a brilliant marketing ploy OR a big pair of holes in the dike holding back internal Apple info – is equally fascinating to consider.