Monday, February 14, 2011, 11:50 am PT (02:50 pm ET)
Apple rumored to be evaluating 3 new iPhone prototypes, one with slideout keyboardA Taiwanese website that has been the source of numerous Apple hardware leaks now claims that Apple has built three hardware prototypes for its next-generation iPhone, including one model with a slide-out physical keyboard.
The new details come from tw.apple.pro, but are the result of a rough online translation. The site's source claimed that Apple has built three prototype models for its anticipated "iPhone 5," and one of them has a "sliding cover" that conceals a keyboard.
Another prototype reportedly built by Apple looks largely like the iPhone 4, but has improved hardware including longer battery life and superior camera. That version of the handset would not be a major physical change from the previous-generation iPhone 4, and would be akin to the iPhone 3GS replacing the iPhone 3G, the report said.
Finally, the site also reiterated rumors that the next-generation iPad will include a built-in camera, and will also be thinner than the first-generation model.
In years past, Apple.pro has got its hands on numerous hardware leaks from Apple's overseas suppliers. Last year it got its hands on a white panel for an iPhone 4 before the handset was announced, and it also obtained an iPhone 4 battery in June.
In 2008, it offered a first look at Apple's redesigned MacBook.
Last July, the same site also showed off a mysterious small touchscreen which it speculated could be used in an "iPod touch nano." In September, Apple unveiled its new iPod nano with a small multi-touch display.
In addition, in 2008, the blog posted photos of the new unibody enclosure of Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro before it was released.
But also in 2008, the site posted photos of an alleged 13-inch MacBook casing which proved to be false. And in 2009, the blog claimed that Apple was working on a 15-inch MacBook Air, another product that never came to market.
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