iPhone 4G Rumor Mill Heats Up With Photos, Corroboration

Recently, photos of what many thought was the next iPhone surfaced, only to then be discredited as actually being pictures of a Japanese knock-off device. It’s beginning to look like whoever was trying to discredit that photo was actually just trying to cover up the truth, according to mounting evidence.
That evidence takes multiple forms, the first being photographic proof an Engadget editor spotted in a much earlier, and much more reliable image. The picture in question was the one that surfaced just prior to the unveiling of the iPad, which seemed to show that device in a protective or pre-production case. It ended up being an accurate representation of what the iPad would look like, leading many to believe the photo came from inside Apple’s (s aapl) hardware testing labs.
The photo not only shows the pre-release iPad, the editor noted, but also a device which looks exactly like the supposed prototype iPhone 4G that was supposedly just a Japanese knock-off. Without context, the device in the image could be anything, but in light of the new photos, it seems a pretty strong indicator that at least some of Apple’s iPhone 4G designs resemble the new, boxier style found in the latest pictures.
Engadget has also received word from a source (who remains nameless, as per usual), that it is indeed the next iteration of the iPhone, and that the device will boast a number of improvements, from a higher resolution screen and camera with flash, to a front-facing camera and a shift to the new MicroSIM card standard Apple is using with the 3G version of the iPad.
On top of that, Chinese site WeiPhone recently posted a new series of images that purport to be the insides of the newest iPhone incarnation. The images definitely agree with what is known about the next iPhone, and even included the flat side bezel we’ve seen in the photos leaked last week.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the new prototype Engadget’s found is the reported glass backing for the device. John Gruber of Daring Fireball thinks this is in fact true, since he’s not only heard it from multiple sources, but he’s also dug up a patent application for high-durability ceramic enclosures that would avoid the pitfalls of having an all-glass device, while allowing for unprecedented radio signal transparency. That would go a long way to resolving some of the signal issues many iPhone owners complain about.
If these rumors are true, the iPhone is shaping up to be much more than an incremental improvement on the previous version. In fact, I’m getting much more excited about the iPhone 4G than I am about the iPad, which, thanks to delays internationally and at home, I may never get my hands on anyway.