The above photo of a plate of sushi could be one of the first public photos taken with Apple's next iPhone.
The photo, picked up this morning by Pocketnow, was snapped by Apple software engineer Anton D'Auria and is entitled "lunch at work." Posted to Flickr (but now labeled private), the photo sharing site notes that it's been taken on an iPhone 4, but as Pocketnow points out, the photo's EXIF data details a camera with different specs than what's available on Apple's current model. That includes a higher resolution picture at 3,264-by-2,448 pixels (versus the iPhone 4's 2,592-by-1,936 pixels), and a slightly narrower 4.3mm lens (compared to the iPhone 4's 3.85mm lens).
Apple has a track record of improving the camera with each generation of the device. That's expected to continue with the next model of the device, which could be hitting store shelves next month. The rumored provider of that new hardware is OmniVision, whoto be offering an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor, a step up from the existing 5-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 4.
If legitimate, this wouldn't be the first media to be posted ahead of a gadget's release. Last year, following the introduction of the iPhone 4--but before it hit store shelves--Czech site Jablckr.cz got its hands on an iPhone 4 and posted photo and video samples. In that instance, Apple had already announced the hardware and offered photo stills on its promotional site (here), but those posted to Jablckr.cz offered the first unprofessional look at what consumers would be getting later that month.
Update at 9:55 a.m. PT: The photo's now been set to private. Here's a screenshot of the photo page before it was hidden from public view. TechCrunch also notes that the GPS coordinates match up with Apple's Cupertino headquarters.