Apple’s vaunted secrecy was pierced yesterday when a prototype version of their next iPhone was posted on the website Gizmodo.

If it is indeed the next generation iPhone, I think the changes are evolutionary, but not revolutionary. Nevertheless, it should continue Apples dominating role in the smartphone space.

The problem, however, is with Apple’s current iPhone sales. I expect they will drop off quickly until the next phone is actually available. Even though most people following Apple knew they would likely announce their new phone in June or July, seeing the actual phone could make people hesitate upgrading their iPhone between now and the June/July timeframe.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple puts the word out that this particular lost phone is only one of many prototypes they’re working on. That would inject a bit of uncertainty into the final specifications and release timetable which could serve to steady the continual sales of their current iPhone line.