3G iPhone watch: What’s in those brown cardboard boxes?

June 6, 2008, 1:29 PM UTC

A few hours after an enterprising reporter staked out the West Coast distribution center of Quanta Computer — a trusted Taiwan-based Apple manufacturer — and came back with photos of large stacks of brown cardboard boxes presumed to hold 3G iPhones (see below), something that looks a lot like one those boxes showed up in Australia.

The photo shown here was posted early Friday (local time) on MacTalk Australia:

“Late yesterday afternoon MacTalk received the above photo from a very reliable source who can not be named for obvious reasons (fear of assassination by the Apple Secret Police I presume). Word on the street is that resellers across the country have also received similar packages. As seen by the picture, it’s (sic) contents are protected under NDA until Tuesday June 10 – does that date ring a bell to anyone?” (link)

June 10, I am informed, is what day it will be in Australia when Steve Jobs delivers the keynote in which he is expected to unveil the new iPhone.

Fear of violating an Apple (AAPL) nondisclosure agreement (NDA) must be very powerful indeed if it can reach halfway around the world and keep the recipient of this package — whose name and address have been blacked out — from opening it a couple days early

Here, as promised, are what those boxes looked like stacked outside Quanta’s West Coast shipping facility in Fremont, Calif., courtesy of iPhone stalker Brian Caulfield/Forbes.com. There’s plenty more where that came from here.

[Australian photo reposted by permission of MacTalk Australia.]