Update 8.26: Mystery Android MID identified as Rockchip concept
Update 8.23: More photos added below
I won't go so far as to say that the Android MID mystery has been solved, but a key piece of the puzzle has just fallen into place. The device still hasn't been positively identified (despite claims that it's the SMiT MID-560 and speculation that it's the new Archos slate or Apple tablet), but I do believe my tipster has tracked down the original source of all the images, including a few we've never seen before.
Though he may not necessarily be the person who actually took the photos, Twitpic user focus3G (whose "real" name is Vincent H) is the one who first posted them online. Some are even available in extremely high resolutions (3008 x 2000!), which makes it much more likely that they're the originals.
Now for the previously unknown forum where the images were first found. Considering that it's been over a week since the first set of pics were discovered and not a single person has claimed to have ever seen them before, you'd think that they'd be from some random forum that no one has ever heard of or that no one visits.
But no. According to my tipster, the photos were posted in a series of threads over at the Android section of the Cell Phone Forums. It's not the most well known forum on the internet, sure, but with nearly 10K users on the site as I'm typing this sentence, it's hardly obscure. The Android section isn't very active, though, so that's probably why it took so long to find.
In any case, Cell Phone Forums member wowshake joined the forum just last week and created three threads to show off the photos, which are all linked to focus3G's Twitpic page. He calls the device the Apple inetbook, the android iMid, and most recently the Android MID, which doesn't bode well for his credibility, but the pictures were put in the forum on the same days they were uploaded to Twitpic. Not all of the photos have their EXIF data available but based on the ones that do and some other factors, they appear to have all been taken on August 11th (the day wowshake joined the forum).
Assuming this is true, why didn't he post all of the pictures at once? Why put them out in batches on a forum that, according to the number of views each thread has had, isn't really interested in the device? And perhaps most curiously of all, why hasn't wowshake/focus3G/Vincent H raised his hand as the source? He clearly reads Engadget, who picked up the story not once but twice, so it's not like he's oblivious to what's going on.
Whatever the answers, I'm sure more photos of this mystery device will pop up again. And while it would be great to know more about what this MID is, at least we finally know where the images are from and most likely who took them.
Two of three ain't bad.
Update 8.23: More photos have just appeared.