Is this the next iPhone?

Forget E3 and WWDC, we're getting all the info we need straight from the source: China.

Although struck by the typical blurriness we expect from leaked images from China, UMPC Fever, a Chinese technology blog, has posted what appear to be photos of the new iPhone using new, exclusive features expected in the next model, including autofocus and the built-in compass.

According to Apple Insider, the autofocus features works by tapping the screen to choose which part of the shot you want to be in focus. The focused area is outlined by a blue box (visible in images) and can also be used for shooting video.

The compass is large and fairly ridiculous: it takes up the entire screen, similar to the Voice Memo App function added in the 3.0 software.

It should be noted that these features are only rumors and that makes it more possible that the images are fabricated. That being said, the images look like Apple software and if the features exist they wouldn't run on existing iPhone models.

Although the forum appears to be down now, several sites have grabbed images and translations from Google pre-censorship.

An interesting note: Engadget noticed some differences in the actual hardware (which are compared at the top of the story), and is speculating that we could be seeing two of the rumored models that are expected to be announced at WWDC.

Here's the roundup:

Apple Insider: Photos purport to show new iPhone's autofocus camera, compass

Engadget: Mr. Blurrycam takes new iPhone's features for a test drive?

Gizmodo: First iPhone 3G 2009 Screens Look Very Real To Me

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Paul Suarez

PC World (US online)
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