iPhone 4G – The leak conspiracy theories

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It’s not every day you walk into a bar and find one of the hottest, unreleased gadgets in the world just lying on the floor. But that, apparently, is exactly what has happened with Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 4G. Either heads are going to roll or this is one supremely well calculated PR stunt.

So what happened? Here’s a few Tech Digest theories.

It’s a double bluff before the real iPhone 4G reveal

Have you heard the one about the guy who walks into a bar… and found an iPhone 4G all too easily? Maybe this is a double bluff from Apple? Let a prototype bearing all the expected features of an iPhone 4G (video calling, bigger battery, better screen) out into the wild, and then blow away the world when your official reveal unveils a brand new device altogether, with features none of us were expecting.

Apple are testing the water, checking out the tech world’s response to the handset

This sort of feeds into the whole double bluff thing. Put out a preliminary model of the iPhone 4G, let the world give their two cents, then go back to the drawing board if the blogosphere ends up a little bit non-plussed. That said, a prototype, working, with a build quality this polished, would still be way too expensive to lose. You’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars probably.

Apple released it to draw attention from Microsoft’s Kin and Windows Phone 7 handsets

While the Kin One and Kin Two launch last week could hardly be called monumental, there was definitely quite a lot of positive buzz floating around their social networking orientated handsets. And with Windows Phone 7 just around the corner, perhaps Apple are trying to knock some wind out of Microsoft’s sails?

Industrial espionage or arguably the biggest leak blunder of all time

While a well oiled PR machine like Apple certainly has the nous to acknowledge that all publicity is good publicity, does it really have the balls to reveal its flagship phone for the next 18 months in such a slap-dash way? This is usually a carefully orchestrated affair by the Cupertino kings. While industrial espionage, revealing the company’s secrets to all and sundry, may be a little far fetched, a clumsy employee doing some field testing of the phone’s signal strength for instance and then getting tipsily waylaid in a bar isn’t all that unrealistic. If that is the case and I was that employee, I’d be changing my name and booking the first flight through the volcanic ash cloud that I could. The wrath of Steve Jobs is mighty, and has driven employees to suicide for similar blunders in the past.

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Gerald Lynch