SEATTLE - Technology bloggers have posted photos of what appears to be the next version of Apple Inc.'s iPhone, and if the images are real, the device will be getting a clearer display, longer battery life and a camera in the front that could be used for video conferencing.
AOL Inc.'s Engadget blog published photos on Saturday that were taken by an unknown person of an iPhone-esque device.
On Monday, Gawker Media Inc.'s Gizmodo, a competing gadget blog, had the phone in its possession and was posting photos and videos of its own. Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, said the company paid $5,000 for the phone.
Both Web sites said the iPhone had been lost in a bar. Gizmodo called the device "the real thing" and offered detailed evidence to support the assertion.
Apple, which is notoriously secretive about future products, did not return messages seeking comment.
Like the existing iPhones, the device in the photos has a black face with a single button. But the device is slimmer and its sides are squared, not curved. The back is shiny and dark, unlike the aluminum casing Apple currently uses. The photos show a front-facing camera that could be used for video conferencing and a different configuration of buttons along the side.
The back of the device doesn't say how many gigabytes of storage the device comes with - instead, it's marked "XXGB." The phone wouldn't start up, but the locked screen that appeared when Gizmodo plugged it into a computer looked brighter and sharper than an existing iPhone.
Gizmodo also said the camera lens on the back is larger than on current iPhones. When the bloggers took the device apart, they found a bigger battery.
Engadget's post described the phone as "found on the floor of a San Jose (Calif.) bar." At some point, the phone was running different operating software than the current iPhone models, then stopped turning on. Engadget declined to comment on the source of its photos or information.
Analysts have said they think Apple could update the iPhone hardware at the same time.