Al Gore Talks iPhones

Hold everything. The economy threatens a double-dip recession, American troops are in harm’s way in Afghanistan, and there are raised voices over a death-penalty case in Georgia — but there are people in the technology world who have come to a stop because Al Gore used the letter “s.”

That was as in “the new iPhones coming out next month.” IPhones. Plural.

Gore is, among other things, on the board of Apple, Inc., and was appearing at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. From there, he was quoted by Toby Shapshak, an editor of South Africa’s Stuff magazine, as saying, “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month. That was a plug.”

That made it onto The Next Web … and then MSNBC … and Wired … and The Associated Press … and soon the blogosphere was abuzz. Apple has put out word that it will have a product announcement on Oct. 4. All Things D reports it will roll out its newest iteration of the iPhone then.

So what did Mr. Gore mean? Stacks and stacks of new iPhone 5s? Or more than one model, as Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web guessed was possible? We’ve left messages with Gore’s office in Nashville.

We reached Shapshak by Twitter, and he replied, “Gore said ‘new iPhones’ but nothing more. It was definitely plural. I recorded it and double checked. Twice.”

Ina Fried of All Things D closed her post, “Al, you are supposed to put all of that Apple information in a lockbox.

“Then again, it’s not like he left another prototype in a bar.”