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Gizmodophone may have forced Jobs' hand

Is there another iPhone 4G out there?

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Updated One reason Steve Jobs went ballistic over the infamous iPhone-left-in-a-bar escapade may have been that the lost stolen peripatetic prototype was not the one he planned to introduce from the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote stage on June 7.

In a Wednesday wrap-up of iPhone 4G rumors, DigiTimes analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — he of the recent 24 million iPhone forecast — noted that the Gizmodophone bore a tag that read "N90", an iPhone 4G internal codename.

No big deal there. But he also noted that his sources have told him that there is another iPhone prototype in the works with the codename of "N91." This one, apparently, is less advanced than the N90. "[The N91] is a parallel product to back up the N90 in case there are major delays due to significant modifications in casing, display resolution, digital camera support, and so forth."

If Kuo is correct — and if there had still been uncertainty in Cupertino whether the N90 or the N91 would share the stage with Apple's CEO on June 7 — the loss of the N90 prototype made that decision for them. Now that the world assumes, for example, that the next-generation iPhone will have a front-facing camera, it would be egg-on-face time for Steve Jobs if he had to introduce a less-capable model.

The Reg doesn't know for certain, but we are of the considered opinion that one thing Steve Jobs does not enjoy is egg-on-face time. No wonder that Apple counsel George Riley told the San Mateo police that the publication of Gizmodophone details were "immensely damaging to Apple."

We hasten to add that this is our speculation based upon Kuo's reports from unnamed sources — a fragile latticework upon which to build an argument.

And it's also a structure that's made a wee bit more shaky by an odd and easily avoided error in Kuo's summation of iPhone 4G speculation — most of which, by the way, is not news. In a discussion of the upcoming iPhone's display resolution, which he says will be "mostly likely up to 960x640," he refers to that resolution as "the same resolution as offered in the iPad,* which should be a plus for developers to create applications that fit both devices."

Uh, no, Kuo — the iPad's resolution is 1024 by 768. That's not even the same aspect ratio as 960 by 640. Oh, and there's also a reference of his that the iPhone 4G "needs 523MB RAM", but that's so ludicrous we'll chalk it up to a simple typo. ®

*Update

DigiTimes has corrected their reference to the purported 960-by-640 resolution of the N90 being "the same resolution as offered in the iPad." The revised version now reads "close to the resolution as offered in the iPad."

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