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More details of Apple's new iPhone have leaked. In IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches bloggers watch leaks from Hong Kong. And we ask, should we call this iPhone 3, iPhone 3G, iPhone 2009, or what? It's confusing.
Cleve Nettles watches a 2009 iPhone in a late-night ride around Hong Kong:
Two more pieces of the iPhone 3 puzzle hit the web today. Some dudes in Hong Kong got their hands on a prototype iPhone 3 and took it for a 3 AM spin. First, the often-rumored digital compass will have its own pretty application. It isn't going to change the universe, but it is a nice touch.
Next, the camera looks to have a focus that you can control with your finger. As you are ready to take a shot, the little square can be moved to the part of the screen where you want the camera to focus. Pretty sweet. We're not aware of any cameras that operate in this manner.
Bruce Poon offers this translation from the original Chinese, plus screenshots:
It's already 3am, and I totally cannot sleep. 'Cuz I just came home after meeting a friend from the U.S. This friend brought me something, and it's not H1N1. Instead, it is a item that will be under the world's spotlights -- a third generation iPhone prototype. This friend is a mysterious person. ... Of course, one cannot dismiss this voice recording software. It will be very convenient during meeting or conference. ... Other than the fact that the OS 3.0 in the new iPhone can display detailed stock information, it can also display horizontally. ... When you see a photo on a web page that you want to download, just touch and hold onto that photo. Then you can select "SAVE IMAGE" to store it or "COPY" to work on it later. ... And SEND MMS is also very easy to do. And you can also type message horizontally.
Robert Evans is surrounded by scantily-clad girls, as per usual; so watch out:
The iPhone 2009 isn't very far away now, but we're still jumping at the bit to get as much info about the new smartphone as we can. This week, our burning need for Apple leaks has been sated by a Chinese blog called UMPC fever. ... I think the new iPhone's most useful feature is going to end up being the barcode reader. It's a simple thing, but it will allow people to easily comparison shop and probably save iPhone users a big bucket of money. Which is good, because they're going to need some extra scratch when the iPhone 2009 hits stores later this year.
Aidan Malley adds 2+2:
Autofocusing ... is expected not only to prove useful for better photos but to enable barcode scanners and other image recognition apps. These usually wouldn't work with current iPhones as fine details are often unreadable. Additionally, the Hong Kong-based leak shows a previously unseen compass-only app that would use the built-in magnetometer for the new model. ... While all of the features have been frequently rumored, their appearance in the photos tentatively confirms that some of the 2009 iPhone's biggest improvements will be those that bring it up to par with some of its tougher competitors in sheer features.
Jesus Diaz is convinced:
I'm looking at these images from a Hong Kong blog, and they totally look like The Real Thing to me. Sure they are blurry, but those applications' user interface definitely screams Apple design. The gallery shows the compass and autofocus in actionwhich can't work in current hardware. ... As we get closer to WWDC, it seems that some stuff may be starting to leak. We saw potential parts from the next-generation iPhone 3G and what may be a new finish.
Meanwhile, Seth Weintraub muses on geolocation:
I just checked a GPS-enabled webpage page ... on a 3.0B5 iPhone's Mobile Safari and Boom! The webpage checks the GPS coordinates of the iPhone and returns a result. ... Google also mentioned in their Latitude for iPhone presentation last week that they were no longer going to build a native app for the iPhone. They said Latitude was now going to be a WebApp that would run in Safari. That should have tipped me off that Safari would have to be able to not only retrieve others' locations, but also broadcast the location of the user's iPhone.
Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter or FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: contact Richi.