Tech heads got all excited over the Instagram photo which purports to show the iPhone 7 Plus.
The image, posted by Instagram user @stevlocker, claims to show the next generation Apple smartphone, writes Greg Barbosa for 9to5Mac. The internet is alive with rumors and leaks related to the iPhone 7, so the post gained considerable attention.
Image claims to show new Apple smartphone
From the looks of the photo the iPhone 7 has no antenna bands along the back, and the camera sits flush with the rest of the body. At first glance the story looks to be an interesting one, as the owner of the Instagram account is believed to be an important Apple executive.
Research into the Instagram user made it appear that he was none other than Steven Huon, who claims to be Chief of French content for Apple TV and Apple Music on various social media profiles. However a search of the Apple employee database shows that there is no Steven Huon currently working at the company.
Interestingly the Instagram account also posted an image revealing the Apple Music name before the service officially launched last year. That image has since been deleted, but the account feed features a number of images from Apple events.
Photo could be a fake
It all makes for a very murky picture indeed, and has understandably led to questions on the veracity of the photo. At the same time the design in the photo does match with some of the most persistent rumors about the iPhone 7.
Overall it has a very similar design to the existing iPhone 6s. However the antenna lines are not present in the photo, as has been rumored for a long time, and it also matches with rumors that the camera design would be been cleaned up.
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities also claimed that the iPhone 7 Plus would include a dual-camera system. It is thought that the system would dramatically improve performance in low light.
However the phone in the photo appears to be an iPhone 7 Plus, but it does not have the dual-camera design. Closer inspection of the photo reveals that the image may have been Photoshopped.
iPhone 7 expected to launch in September
Instagram removes EXIF data from images, so the source cannot be verified. However there is a small area of the photo on the right side of the device which looks as though it could have been Photoshopped.
It is very easy to alter images using the Clone tool in the Adobe Photoshop program, which can be used to alter and hide images. It is not unheard of for Photoshop to be used to attract attention to images related to important technological devices.
Further suspicions arise after more in-depth research into @stevlocker. There is no information online which proves that he is Steven Huon, or that anyone by that name even works for Apple. The @stevlocker account has posted pictures of Apple events, as has the user @stevenhuon, but neither account pictures the person behind the accounts.
In fact the Instagram @stevlocker has photos of a figure who is quite literally wearing a mask, which suggests that the whole thing is a hoax. Comments on the photo reveal that other Instagram users have not been duped into believing that the iPhone 7 Plus has been leaked: “Stunt, Photoshop, case, iPhone 7? What is this? ?” reads one.
The rumors and leaks look set to continue in the lead up to the predicted launch of the iPhone 7 in September, but just be wary that a lot of the information is just pure speculation.