Another Short-Lived Best Buy iPhone Sighting: This Time For “iPhone 4G”

techno buffalo's iphone 4g screen shot from best buy -- bogus's bogus Best Buy iPhone 4G screen shot.

BGR’s Best Buy hoax in early September has been followed up with yet another bogus Best Buy leak, claiming a new iPhone 4G case.

The Best Buy iPhone 5 rumors are still winless, even this late into the game.

A fleeting report from Techno Buffalo quickly rose and fell, claiming a screen shot of a new product add to the Best Buy inventory of the iPhone 4G. The screen shot, which shows the sku and product information for an Orlando Magic “iPhone 4G case,” was touted as an actionable piece of intel to suggest that the next iPhone would not be the iPhone 5, but rather a 4G-equipped iPhone — hence, the “iPhone 4G.”

Techno Buffalo argues the case for taking this screet shot seriously: “Although even we were skeptical, the Best Buy employee assured us that this case was not listed the previous week and just sprouted up today in the system.” Author Mike Perlman goes on to justify the “iPhone 4G” evidence by citing the logic that Apple skipped the “iPhone 2″ in order to capitalize on the 3G network with the iPhone 3G, and that they could do the same on this year’s iPhone: “based on iPhone history, we have witnessed the leap from the first-generation iPhone right up to the iPhone 3G, proving that Apple does not necessarily heed a chronological naming template.”

He also cites numerous reports of AT&T testing the new iPhone on their 4G network, and that the release delay could be all about giving U.S. carriers like Sprint and AT&T time to get more of their 4G infrastructure in line before releasing it: “let’s ponder for a moment. AT&T just rolled out their LTE service. Apple pushed back its iPhone announcement to a date that falls just beyond Big Blue’s LTE red carpet. So now with Verizon and AT&T as LTE juggernauts, it would make all the sense in the world for Apple to release a new LTE iPhone within the coming weeks. We’ve also heard rumors of AT&T testing an iPhone prototype with its LTE service.”

All of this may seem well and good, except for the fact that the screen shot is erroneous at best and a total hoax at worst.

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Less than 24 hours and two updates later, Techno Buffalo debunked their own big, breaking story: “Update 2: A UPC search (FVA3403) leads to a result indicating this is a case of iPhone 4 covers, which lends strong credibility to this being a Best Buy internal error and not a product reveal.  (Update by Sean)” Gee, maybe you should have done the UPC search first, Techno Buffalo.

This is the second failed Best Buy rumor in the month of September, with the first one, posted by Boy Genius Report, going up in smoke.

The shame of it is that Techno Buffalo makes some compelling arguments for how the next iPhone could indeed be the iPhone 4G. However, the irresponsibility of posting the screen shot with the headline, “iPhone 4G Instead of iPhone 5? Best Buy Leaks Apple Gold” without first double- and triple-checking the product code negates their claims.

It may be safe to say that any new evidence coming from Best Buy should be treated with the highest level of skepticism going forward.

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By Michael Nace


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