Design of iPhone 4G Prototype Was Nearly Final?

Barcodes attached to the iPhone 4G prototype revealed by Gizmodo indicate that it was nearly a finalized design.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber has learned that starting a few weeks ago a number of iPhone engineers were allowed to begin using pre-production units outside of the Apple campus. These units were disguised as the iPhone 3G/3GS, were not allowed to be demonstrated to anyone, and were tagged with barcodes to distinguish the unit.

According to Gizmodo, one of the barcodes attached to the unit read “N90_DVT_GE4X_0493”. According to several sources (of mine) familiar with the project, “N90” is Apple’s codename for the fourth-generation GSM iPhone, slated for release this June or July. “DVT” stands for “design verification test”, an Apple production milestone. The DVT milestone is very late in the game; based on this, I now believe that this unit very closely, if not exactly, resembles what Apple plans to release.

Gruber continues on to discuss the legal and ethical issues that Gizmodo faces by having published this story.

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