OMG! A new iPhone will probably be released this year! Oh, wait... duh.

In an event that is surely one of the craziest things I've followed and read about, a possible "prototype" for Apple's 4th generation iPhone (casually dubbed iPhone 4G or iPhone HD), surfaced in the real world. In a bar. From a drunk guy's pocket.

Thing is, not only did it surface there... he LOST IT THERE. Even doing "real world testing" ... why you would be drinking enough to lose a phone while you have such a ridiculously high profile device in your possession is beyond me. For those of you who don't know... Apple is really super secret about it's products and leaks and such. And with this... wow... there is no bag anymore. The cat is just sitting there mocking what was left of the bag that it just destroyed. Click that More button to keep reading... it's quite fascinating.

iPhone 4G/HD via Gizmodo

iPhone 4G/HD via Gizmodo

Here's the timeline as things unfolded (I think, there's a lot happening here). Saturday evening, Engadget posts possible images of said iPhone. They're skeptical. So is the rest of the internet. I mean, come on... the secrecy in Apple's products? And this just happens to be laying around somewhere for someone to pick up? Chinese knock off? Controlled leak? Doubtful.

The next morning... Gizmodo drops the bomb. They have the alleged iPhone in their possession, with more pictures and video even. Rumor around the internet is that they paid somewhere around $10k to get this from the guy that found it in the bar. Who knows.

Strange thing was this wasn't just a random prototype sitting around either - it was incognito. It had a custom case/shell to appear that it was a 3GS. Gizmodo even tore it open and found Apple labeled components inside. Nothing like the 3G or 3GS. Front facing camera. Higher resolution screen. Regular camera flash. Completely different case design. The chances of it being real increased significantly with the internal components though...

Later in the day, Engadget found even more possible "proof" that it was the real deal... in a photo leaked the night before the iPad launch. "WTF?" right? Looking better and better, right?

From here (and mostly from the Gizmodo story) there was a LOT of internet chatter. Was it actually "lost" or was it "stolen." Who did what? Was it an intentional leak? Blah blah blah. Most of that is really irrelevant. Someone had a device. It looked very much like it was the next iPhone or a very-close-to-finished prototype of it. Apple probably wanted it back.

This really creates a dilemma as just about everyone else has pointed out... if Apple sends of a Cease and Desist letter or asks for it back they are basically verifying it's authenticity. If they do nothing, are they playing it cool or what?

They wanted it back.

At this point, pretty much every news source on the planet had picked it up. CNN, the Today Show, even the fucking View. It is just crazy.

So as speculated, this thing is pretty much real. And if it does look like that and has the supposed features (plus who knows what else) that we've seen, I'm in for one, how about you? And it is looking like a June release is just around the corner.