Al Gore speaks during an environmental summit in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in March.

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Al Gore speaks at Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in South Africa

Gore said: "Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month"

Nobody at Apple has officially confirmed the rumor yet

Mashable  — 

Apple is well known for being a tight ship, but apparently one of its board members forgot to batten down the hatches. That would be the most famous member of the board: Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Speaking at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in South Africa, Gore interjected the following aside into his speech: “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month. That was a plug.”

That may not sound like a huge blunder – after all, the fact that the iPhone 5 is going on sale at some point next month currently ranks as one of the world’s worst-kept secrets. But take note: nobody at Apple has officially confirmed it yet. Even the October 4 unveiling, leaked to AllThingsD Wednesday morning, is still just a report. Nary an invite has been seen.

Note also the plural in Gore’s aside. It is possible that he was referring to multiple copies of the iPhone 5, but that seems unlikely – especially as we’ve been hearing rumors for months of a lower-cost, lower-memory version dubbed the iCloud iPhone.

Gore has been an Apple board member for more than eight years, and this is the first time we’ve seen him let slip even the slightest detail on an upcoming product. Given the company’s code of secrecy, such an unwarranted statement in a prepared talk – he wasn’t even being interviewed – counts as a major breach of discipline.

If this were an Apple employee, or even any other board member, we’d fear for his future at 1 Infinite Loop. Gore, of course, is a heavy-hitter at the company who’s done a lot of work on making Apple products more sustainable and reducing his carbon footprint. We’re guessing he gets a pass this time.

But Tim Cook, take note: Your ship is not as tight as you might like.

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