No, you didn’t read that wrong, Cincinnati Bell, a regional carrier, listed both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 for a split second today. Two eagle-eyed readers of TUAW snapped screenshots of the listings (Cory L. for the iPhone 5 and Randy K. for the iPhone 4S), and this is the first notable evidence we’ve seen that the two devices are distinctly different. We’ve heard lots of rumors that the iPhone 4S could potentially be a budget device, but there has been next to nothing to back this up.
These listings, both of which have since been removed, show the iPhone 5 with the 8 Megapixel camera we’ve heard so much about as well as the 4-inch screen that has long been rumored and the new A5 processor. The newest addition is that it lists 4G speeds, but it doesn’t make it clear if this is LTE or HSPA+. Seeing as the carrier just rolled out the latter on July 10 of this year, it’s pretty safe to assume that is what they mean, and this would also fit in with the rumor we heard earlier this week from a Chinese source that the iPhone 5 would be receiving the technology.
As for the iPhone 4S, the listing shows it as having a 3.5-inch screen and a 5 Megapixel camera, but it retains the same A5 processor as the iPhone 5. Add in a list price that comes in $299 under the iPhone 5 and it really beefs up the rumors that it will be the “budget” iPhone.
These simple screen shots actually tell us a lot more than just the specs when you read between the lines. No regional carrier has had the iPhone in the United States before, and this would be a large break from it just being AT&T and Verizon that have access to the device. This could also mean a real wallop to T-Mobile since rumors are that Sprint will also be picking up at least one of the devices and they will be the lone major carrier not offering any version of it.
Seeing as these listings have been pulled it is difficult to speak to their veracity, but everything seems to check out with them. There is always the chance that some can say this was done for publicity for a smaller carrier, but the potential backlash come Tuesday when customers of Cincinnati Bell find out they wouldn’t be able to get the devices would far outweigh any potential gain. As with all rumors leading up to the iPhone announcement you should keep a large helping of salt handy. This, however, is looking to be a fairly reliable one, and definitely, if true, something that should leave Google quaking in its Android booties as it appears Apple is about to come after them not only on the pricing front, but also attacking their flanks on availability.
Be sure to check back in with TechnoBuffalo on Tuesday for all of your iPhone news coverage needs.