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Apple’s iPhone 11 might’ve just been pictured in the wild for the first time ever

Published Sep 4th, 2019 9:26AM EDT

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With all the leaks that have spilled out across the internet over the past year, it seems like there can’t possibly be anything left to leak. The first details surrounding Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max first began to trickle out about 12 months ago, when top Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities detailed next-gen iPhones that would sport huge camera upgrades and a new design with frosted glass on the back. As time rolled on, we learned more and more about Apple’s next-generation iPhone lineup until finally, the inevitable happened: Apple’s iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro designs were stolen from the Foxconn factory at which they’ll be manufactured. It happens each and every year, and it leads to a slew of renders that give us a very good idea of what Apple’s new iPhones will look like.

Such was the case this year, though most of the renders and physical mockups we’ve seen are wrong in several key areas. There was one image that came a bit closer to showing us what the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max will actually look like, but now we might have something even better. A huge leak may have just revealed the first-ever photo of an iPhone 11 model in the wild.

Now, before we go any further and you get too excited about this potential leak, it’s important to note that there’s a very good chance it’s a fake. The phone pictured in the image posted to Weibo on Wednesday morning is indeed a real smartphone, but there’s a strong possibility that it’s a Chinese knockoff as opposed to a real iPhone 11 model. After all, Chinese companies often manufacture fake iPhones once their designs leak. These phones often even run forked versions of Android that have been skinned to look just like iOS. They’re still not genuine iPhones though, and that may be the case here.

The biggest indication that this is a Chinese knockoff is the fact that the area surrounding the camera on the back is black. That’s how all of Apple’s previous-generation iPhone models have been designed, but rumor has it the space between the lenses will be color-matched to the rest of the back on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

That said, news of the color-matched backs on Apple’s next-generation iPhone models has obviously not been confirmed by Apple at this point, so it’s still just a rumor that could certainly be wrong. On top of that, the supposed iPhone 11 pictured in the leaked photo is in a case. It might actually be the Space Gray model with a black back, but the case is making it look bluish. Were that the case, then the area in between the lenses of the new rear camera would indeed be black.

With that out of the way, here’s the leaked photo that was posted to Weibo:

And here it is zoomed in:

It is really an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro? Is it just a Chinese knockoff? It’s difficult to tell since the photo isn’t great quality. The camera looks quite odd in the zoomed-in version, almost as if there’s only one lens in the top-left corner with an LED flash beneath it. This could just be the result of distortion though, since the image quality is quite poor.

Apple will unveil its new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max at a special event next Tuesday, September 10th. The phones are then expected to be made available for preorder that Friday and a release is likely set for Friday, September 20th.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.