The demand for news related to the next-generation iPhone is such that even errant parts of the device are making headlines.
On Tuesday, a Portuguese iPhone blog became the latest site to post what are fairly believable images of what may be the iPhone Steve Jobs will reveal on June 7 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.
Two videos posted to the site show the metal skeleton of the device--no buttons, no screen, no camera. How did the site get these? The blog's overseers claim the parts "were purchased in China by one of our readers (weren't stolen or found) then delivered to us. We will not reveal the price."
The iPhone chassis looks very similar to the device purchased and photographed by Gizmodo last month. Gizmodo said it paid $5,000 to a person who found the Apple prototype in a bar after it was lost by an Apple employee. Apple asked for the device back, and a criminal investigation is ongoing.
Last month, a Vietnamese blog also claimed it had gotten its hands on an iPhone prototype that it paid $4,000.
Apple has, until recently, been far better than most companies at keeping a lid on its upcoming products before they are officially introduced. Sure, every year a few days before a major product introduction there are some leaked tidbits of good information. But whole devices going missing and stray parts being sold to blogs? If these parts are real, it means two things: Apple has a problem on its hands, and the thirst for anything tangentially related to the company's products has hit a new high.
We should know for sure on Monday. Jobs is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. on June 7 on the opening day of Apple's WWDC. It is widely expected he will introduce the fourth-generation iPhone.