The unit, found in Redwood City, Calif., was later disassembled by Gizmodo staff, who were skeptical at first because it was camouflaged as an iPhone 3GS.
"But after playing with it for about a week — the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone — and disassembling this unit, there is so much evidence stacked in its favor, that there's very little possibility that it's a fake," Gizmodo says. "In fact, the possibility is almost none."
The next-gen iPhone, according to Apple, includes:
• A front-facing video chat camera;
• Improved regular back-camera;
• Camera flash;
• Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM;
• Improved display;
• A secondary mic for noise cancellation;
• 16 percent larger battery;
• An aluminum border going completely around the outside;
• Split buttons for volume; and,
• Power, mute and volume buttons are all metallic.
Gizmodo also said that the back is entirely flat, "made of either glass (more likely) or ceramic or shiny plastic in order for the cell signal to poke through."
According to the person who found it, the found iPhone was running iPhone OS 4.0 before it was "remotely killed."
"We were unable to restore because each firmware is device specific — 3GS firmware only loads on 3GS devices — and the there are no firmwares available for this unreleased phone."
A video of the purported found iPhone can be seen here.