I was wrong. Or, I guess, my conclusion was wrong in Final Verdict: Keyboard Fake. iPod UI Real.
The prototype keyboard photos that were posted to Chinese forum were real.
It really is a significant event that will make the rumor-mill a bit more exciting. For the first time, Apple has let photos of a pre-release product be widely distributed, and not take any efforts to suppress their distribution. Good or bad, this is going to make future “spy shots” harder to assess.
Whether or not the iPod UI will be a shipping product remains to be seen, but I think we’ll see the iPod UI shortly.