we'd spotted was no more than a Japanese knock-off of an Apple product, it was starting to look like this thing was too good to be true. That is until one of the Engadget editors spotted what seems to be solid proof that this is -- in fact -- the next iPhone. If you'll recall, the night before the iPad was revealed, we had leaked shots of the device from what appeared to be an Apple test lab. Upon further inspection of these pictures today, the aforementioned editor discovered that the new iPhone 4G we've just gotten photos of is actually sitting on the table beside the iPad prototype! Imagine how blown our minds were when we realized we have had a photo of the next iPhone for months! As you can see in the pic above, the left side of the new device is clearly visible on this table in the upper right hand corner, and since we believe that these photos come directly from an Apple testbed, it's hard to deny that the phone you've just seen is in fact the real deal. Not only that, but we suspect that the device on the tablet itself is also a version of the new phone (you can see what looks like aluminum along the bottom) which seems to be housed in some type of iPhone 3G-like case.
Additionally, a source -- who confirms this is the next Apple iPhone -- also tells us that the device apparently does have a higher res screen on-board, a front-facing camera, a higher resolution camera with flash, and takes MicroSIM cards (that's the little "button" around the side you see in the Twitpic which is floating around the internet). We're working on uncovering more info, but right now you can take a look at the proof above for yourself, and in the gallery below.
Note: The device we're talking about can be clearly seen in the UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE PHOTO, you know, with the arrow pointing to it.
Update: A Mac Rumors forum member has just posted pictures from Chinese site WeiPhone of what appears to be the guts of this device. These images line up with what we know right now. We've added a gallery of the shots below.
Update 2: In response to commenters and tipsters questioning the differences between the Twitpic and WeiPhone pics and the "San Jose" photos; these are likely handmade demo units, therefore there will be minor differences between them such as the screws appearing and then not appearing. We believe the models which will roll off of the production lines in China will look like these devices, likely with some minor physical tweaks, but they will look like these phones. Other major design decisions are already set in stone, such as the rumored glass back, which is present on both of these devices (Daring Fireball's John Gruber mentions them here). Yes, there are very minor discrepancies between these photos, but you need to understand they are from a very small pool of hand-built tester units. It is incredibly likely that the next version of the iPhone will look like the photos you see in the gallery below, and we certainly wouldn't claim that if we didn't have good reason to believe it.
Update 3: Gruber has expanded on the info concerning a glass backing for these new devices, and he's dug up a 2006 Apple patent application on a ceramic enclosure for handheld devices which is also (ding ding ding), radio transparent.