The sometimes accurate, oft wishful thinking Digitimes has a doozy of a story this morning, claiming that the fourth-generation iPhone we’ve seen time and time again in countless leaks might not be the one Jobs hoists onstage at WWDC in June.
According to their interview with senior analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has two iPhones its currently working on, internally called the N90 and the N91. The N90 is the iPhone Gizmo got their hands on, while the N91 is a less impressive handset more similar to the iPhone 3GS.
The N90 is the iPhone Apple wants to release, providing they don’t have any unexpected setbacks (such as component shortages). The N91 is the iPhone they’ll release if they can’t get their ducks in a row.
It makes sense that Apple would have a back-up plan. What we’ve seen of the next-generation iPhone is that it’s a radical departure on a hardware level from the iPhone we know right now, which has the potential to convolute mass production. Look at how the second-generation iPod Touch lost its built-in camera at the last minute due to supply problems and you can easily see how it would behoove Apple to have a less complicated new device in the wings.
I doubt, though, that we’re likely to see a less-capable iPhone than the one that leaked to Gizmodo. That leak has been supported by a host of further device leaks in Vietnam and Taiwan which implies that manufacturing is already well underway. On the other hand, we haven’t even seen an N91 yet.
Still, Apple’s been known to surprise us before… and if they’ve ever had a reason to surprise, it’s their current problem with leaks. We’ll know all at WWDC.