Apple's notoriously tight secrecy ahead of product launches seems to have been undermined with a stray prototype of what appears to be the next iPhone falling into the eager hands of Gizmodo. It's been carefully pulled-apart, pored-over and examined from every angle, and the folks over at Gizmodo are convinced that its the real thing. So what can we expect?

Of course all is speculation before an official release appears from Apple, but Gizmodo has formulated a fairly convincing argument as to the unit's validity - for example it was found running iPhone OS 4.0 and uses a Micro-SIM card.

Based on the report, we can hope for some interesting improvements when the 4G iPhone hits the market including a front-facing camera for video chat, a bigger standard camera, larger battery, a much higher-res but slightly smaller screen than the 3GS and a secondary microphone for noise cancellation.

Design-wise the unit is thinner, has a flat back with none of the curves we've become familiar with, the power, mute, and volume buttons are metallic, there's split buttons for volume and a full aluminum border. It's also slightly heavier than the 3GS at 140 grams.

Is this what we'll be unboxing when the fourth-gen iPhone gets official? We'll have to wait and see.

Via Gizmodo.