TechCrunch reports that the 3G iPad will be shipping as of May 7th. This is the model that costs $130 more than the equivalent wifi-only version and includes the no-contract-required ability to buy 3G access from AT&T on a monthly basis. That will certainly be good for downloading e-book when wifi is not available.
Meanwhile, our sister site Gadgetell reports that Sprint has come up with a clever way to make a “4G iPad”—an iPad case with a built-in pocket for Sprint’s “Overdrive” mobile wifi access point. Like the MiFi I’ve discussed as a way to “retrofit 3G” to wifi-only e-book devices, the Overdrive can supply 3G/4G wireless Internet access to up to 5 devices at a time.
And finally, I’ve held off on bringing this story up until it was clearer that the device in question was genuine, but all indications are now that it is. Gizmodo got ahold of a 4G iPhone prototype that someone apparently “lost” in a bar in Redwood City, California, and disassembled it to take pictures.
Totally stealing Steve Jobs’s thunder, they report that the next generation of iPhone is set to roll with a larger battery, higher-resolution screen, improved rear camera plus new front-facing video camera, iPad-style micro-SIM, and other improvements. The device ran OS 4.0, but was remotely disabled shortly after Gizmodo’s sources “found” it.
Business Insider notes that there can’t be all that many people who would have been in a position to have an iPhone 4G prototype outside of Apple’s own hallowed halls, and wonders which Apple or AT&T exec is going to get fired for “losing” it.
According to John Gruber, Apple considers the unit “stolen”, not “lost”. I wonder what repercussions Gizmodo and its employees are going to face? They could, after all, be charged with receiving stolen property—not to mention totally blacklisted from every Apple event from now on. I hope their great scoop was worth it.