White iPhone 4 Video Shows Off Alternative iOS Features

Apple's white iPhone 4 may not be released yet, but new online videos use it to suggest some iOS features that never made it out of the lab. It might not be a glimpse into Apple's iOS future, but it's certainly an interesting artifact from the past.

On April 19, the Vietnamese Website Tinhte posted a video clip of a white iPhone 4 in action-complete with what seemed like a new multitasking menu, with thumbnail images of open apps arranged on a grid. This differs from the current multitasking model used by iOS, which presents open apps on a tray along the bottom of the screen. This look was significant enough for the blog Engadget to repost it.

The Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac soon posted another video from Tinhte showing off the particulars of the white iPhone, including the camera aperture and (via the Settings menu) 64GB drive.

A little later, Engadget updated its original post, suggesting that the Expose-style multitasking and other features were indicative of "an early, unreleased version of iOS 4" and "probably not something to get your hopes up about."

In a few isolated but notable incidents, Vietnamese Websites have offered up interesting tidbits on upcoming Apple products. In May 2010, the online forum Taoviet posted images and video of a prototype iPhone 4, roughly similar to the one dissected the previous month by Gizmodo.

The white iPhone 4 is slated to arrive sometime this spring, according to multiple sources, including Apple executive Philip Schiller.

In the meantime, speculation is rampant about Apple's next iPhone and major iOS overhaul. Current rumors suggest that the iPhone 5 could include Apple's A5 proprietary processor, an 8-megapixel camera, hardware upgraded to enable 3G FaceTime video conferencing, and NFC (near-field communication) technology, which would allow the smartphone to act as an electronic wallet.

Rumors also abound that Apple plans to delay the iPhone 5 beyond the usual summer schedule for its smartphone releases to sometime later in 2011. Other sources have suggested to blogs like TechCrunch that iOS 5, the next iteration of Apple's mobile software, will also see a later release, although its features will almost certainly be previewed at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), in June.

"The new iOS will be heavily built around the cloud, and we could see several new services launch from Apple that take advantage of this," read TechCrunch's March 26 report. "But much of the cloud stuff will be talked about first at WWDC."

Although Apple's mobile devices command a healthy market-share-particularly the iPad, which dominates the tablet segment-the company faces aggressive competition from the growing family of Google Android devices. In a lawsuit filed April 15 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Apple accused Samsung, one of the more prominent Android-based manufacturers, of patent infringement-goading Samsung to claim it would fire a counter-lawsuit right back.