New iPhone prototype leaked again as Google tablet computer is “confirmed”

The leaks just keep on coming. Barely weeks after a prominent tech blog posted pictures of a prototype iPhone, and found themselves part of a legal investigation, new pictures of a similar prototype have emerged on a Vietnamese IT site.

But internet giant Google has also been thrown into the action, with the Wall Street Journal confirming the existence of the company’s official tablet device to be released later in the year.

While some analysts have dismissed the latest leak as a hoax, a video posted on the Vietnamese site features the same type of iPhone prototype listed in the now-famous Gizmodo leak.

It is certainly not the same device, as Apple contacted Gizmodo after the blog posted extensive pictures of the gadget and requested an opportunity to pick-up the handset and return it to the company’s headquarters.

The Taoviet.vn forum has posted pictures and videos of the new iPhone, which the site claims it purchased from a businessman in the US for a reported $US4,000.

While the phone itself does not appear to load the iPhone OS software, it features the word “Inferno”, which some fans have said refers to a type of software used on other types of iPhone prototypes.

While the gadget appears similar to the one leaked by Gizmodo, there are some subtle differences. On the back of the case, it lists the memory capacity as 16GB, while the Gizmodo prototype only head “XXGB” where storage is listed.

Additionally, tech site Engadget has said the “N90” code listed on the handset’s back refers to a next-generation iPhone, and noted the external screws on the Gizmodo prototype are gone. This could mean the new model is an updated version.

If the prototype is genuine, it would be a remarkable second blunder for Apple in just a few weeks. The company thrives on secrecy, revealing nothing about hardware updates until tightly controlled and scheduled press events.

Having the next iPhone leaked before the actual announcement would be an extraordinary development for the company. However, it is not actually confirmed whether this is actually the next iPhone or just an early prototype.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has reported that American telco Verizon Wireless is working with internet giant Google to deliver a tablet computer, in an attempt to challenge the Apple iPad.

Verizon chief executive Lowell McAdam told the WSJ the company is working with the company to develop a new type of tablet device.

“What do we think the next big wave of opportunities are?” McAdam said. “We’re working on tablets together, for example. We’re looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience.”

Working with Verizon is a clear sign the company is attempting to challenge Apple’s dominance, as the tech company exclusively works with rival carrier AT&T.

While McAdam refused to discuss the details of the timing or manufacturing process of the device, he said his company had some work to do with regards to keeping up with AT&T. However, he also said the company is working on a new network that will deliver much faster speeds.

It is not yet known what type of pricing plans will be available for the Google tablet, or if the gadget will even be released in Australia.

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