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Al Gore lets slip that iPhones (more than one) are coming in October

by Phil Hornshaw

The worst kept secret in the tech industry, it seems, is that Apple is bringing us new iPhones next month. Rumors have been flying around from all sorts of unnamed sources, but now we have a big name attached to one rumor, or perhaps the confirmation of one: Al Gore.

That’s right, that Al Gore, former vice president of the United States. He’s a board member at Apple, and speaking at a conference Wednesday, he let slip that not only is the new iPhone coming in October, but there’s more than one.

Gore was speaking at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit, according to a story from The Next Web. Here’s a quote from that story explaining the context of Gore’s statement:

We’ve been informed by Toby Shapshak, the editor of Stuff Magazine in South Africa that is attending the conference, that his quote was specifically: “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month. That was a plug.”

That statement seems to corroborate a big rumor that’s been flying around for a month or so now: that Apple is actually bringing to bear two new iPhones in October, one being the fully updated and redesigned iPhone 5, the other an improved version of the iPhone 4 that includes the iPad 2’s A5 chip, known as the iPhone 4S.

Now, of course, this is yet another “leak” into which it’s possible to read a lot of information. The usage of the plural by Mr. Gore may have been a slip, or he may have referring to the multiple iPhone models that come with each product iteration, referring to memory capacity or the CDMA and GSM (read: Verizon and AT&T) models.

There’s also a question of whether Gore would even have access to that kind of information, seeing as he’s not an Apple employee. It seems likely that he could. He’s kind of a big deal on the Apple board, as you might imagine, and has helped spearhead the company’s green initiatives. It’s more than likely that the “next month” part would be within his sphere, and that backs up a report today from AllThingsD that says Oct. 4 will see the iPhone announcement. Whether Gore would have more precise knowledge about the models is probably a bit more of a toss-up, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Apple tries for a great deal of secrecy about its plans, but given the amount of time I spend writing up rumors about its products, it doesn’t seem as though 1 Infinity Loop is exactly airtight. This is the first time Gore has let any such information slip, and it's probably a safe bet to say it’s the last time, too.