matte black backing seen last month has totally matching information -- model number and FCC ID alike -- with the actual device. We suppose it could just be an unfinished component, but as Daring Fireball notes, this could mean that Apple toyed with a matte finish early in the 3G S' design but ultimately abandoned it -- or even more intriguingly, it could've been a unique one-off trap designed to identify leakers who'd otherwise tried to hide their identities. It sounds like a pretty far-fetched conspiracy theory at first, yes -- but we're aware of at least one wireless carrier that actively puts out bogus information to achieve the same effect, and you might remember that Microsoft was rumored to have done the same thing with prototype Zunes back in the day. Either way, it's a crying shame, because that glossless finish has left an indelible mark on our hearts that won't soon heal.
[Via Daring Fireball, matte iPhone picture via MacRumors]