In the past few days, many news sites have taken the time to cover the story of the leaked iPhone, which was apparently lost by an Apple engineer and picked up by Gizmodo. There have been a lot of speculation on whether the leaked device is the final version we will see in a matter of few months or not. While it is difficult to be sure, we can always take John Gruber’s word for it:
According to Gizmodo, one of the barcodes attached to the unit read “N90_DVT_GE4X_0493”. According to several sources (of mine) familiar with the project, “N90” is Apple’s codename for the fourth-generation GSM iPhone, slated for release this June or July. “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.
Apple may have not expected to see a final prototype of its device to end up in the wrong hands. But a company at that level always have a backup plan. So it’s inaccurate to assume that Apple is in crisis due to that leak. But this development will certainly change the way Apple looks at some of the media outlets out there. The company may go as far as suing Gizmodo. Considering all the publicity that Gizmodo has received over its story, it may all be worth it regardless of what Apple does.
Leaks happen all the time. In fact, it’s almost impossible to prevent them from happening. When a company is testing a device, it is dealing with humans. We all make mistakes (though some mistakes are much bigger than others). Gray Powerll is going to be in the dog house over this episode as Apple tries to regroup and find the right way to respond to all the questions the Gizmodo story has brought forth. But at least he can make a free trip to Germany to get over his blues. That’s got to count for something.