Apple 4th-gen iPhone prototype in front of us all along?

You may be wondering why we're reposting one of the leaked iPad prototype photos that drummed up excitement prior to the Apple tablet's launch.  Well, according to Apple Insider's sources – with "an impeccable track record in matters such as these", no less – the handset we all overlooked in favor of the iPad is, in fact, one of Apple's fourth-generation iPhones.

Close-ups of the photo don't give away much, which is probably why the prototype wasn't spotted despite the photos having been floating around for a week now.  Apple Insider's sources haven't told them anything else about the smartphone, and nor have they revealed whether it's seen here in a production casing or wrapped up like the iPad in the image.

If this is the final design, then Apple have either junked the chrome bezel or replaced it with a matte-finish version; still, with five months apparently left to run until the new fourth-gen iPhone launches, we're leaning toward thinking it's probably not the finalized design.  The handset is expected to run another of Apple's homegrown chipsets, a variant of the 1GHz Apple A4 powering the iPad.