A new image of what is claimed to be an actual iPhone 5 handset emerged today, perhaps giving us our first look at Apple’s fifth-generation smartphone. Posted by MacRumors forum member guigsh, the image shows a slender smartphone that looks even thinner than Apple’s current iPhone 4 model, jibing with reports that the next-generation iPhone could be just 7mm thick. “Picture taken yesterday in the office of a French operator. Believe it or not,” the forum member said. He continued in a separate post, “We were able to see it only 2 minutes, pictures forbidden of course, so, we did our best.” As far as details about the device itself are concerned, guigsh added, “The only thing I can tell you, is that my iPhone 4 looks really slow now.” Of note, the image shows a device that looks strikingly similar to the Chinese counterfeit “iPhone 5″ we saw in images and a video recently, but it looks much more refined. This could mean that the Chinese clone pictured earlier was indeed based on Apple’s actual design as BGR and others speculated, or it could mean that this is just another fake from the same manufacturer.
Apple’s next-generation iPhone may launch even later than September this year, as has previously been rumored on numerous occasions. Apple has stuck to a summer launch for each new iPhone model released thus far, but the February introduction of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 and the imminent release of the white iPhone 4 do suggest Apple may deviate from its previous schedule. Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited supply chain checks in a note to investors on Monday, in which he suggests Apple’s iPhone 5 won’t enter mass production until September. This would make a September release highly unlikely, and would instead mean the new smartphone might launch in October or later. Ming-Chi also reiterates earlier rumors that the iPhone 5 will be an incremental update, and will feature Apple’s new A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera and a Qualcomm radio like the one found in Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. Industry watcher DigiTimes recently issued a report calling any iPhone 5 manufacturing timelines to this point “baseless,” claiming Apple has not yet discussed the device or any production timing with its manufacturing partners.
Three images of what is claimed to be Apple’s iPhone 5 have surfaced, supposedly sourced from a Vietnamese forum. While the authenticity of the images is anything but confirmed, they do appear to show a device that is in line with several rumors surrounding Apple’s next-generation iPhone. Most notably, we can see that the display on the device pictured is larger than the display on the iPhone 4, as highlighted by several arrows placed on the images. While the exact dimensions of the screen on the pictured device are unknown, we can clearly see that the spacing between the display and the outer edges of the phone are narrower than the spacing found on the iPhone 4. We can also see that the display has been stretched vertically, narrowing the space between the screen and the ear speaker as well as the space above and below the home button. Finally, the images show a redesigned external antenna that no longer has seams on the bottom right corner or on the top of the device next to the audio jack. This could mean that Apple found a way to reduce attenuation by moving one or two antennas back inside the case, thus eliminating the contact point that caused the highly publicized “death grip” issues on the iPhone 4. Hit the break for all three images.
UPDATE: The images pictured in this post have been identified as fakes. More →
A report on Tuesday from Chinese financial paper China Times suggests that Apple’s next-generation smartphone has entered trial production and is scheduled for a third-quarter launch. Apple released the iPhone 4 late in the second quarter of 2010, however some speculate Apple may push its iPhone 5 launch back to July or even later in an effort to place more space between its release and the launch of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4, which became available this past February. China Times’ report goes on to echo previous rumors that the iPhone 5 will feature a design much like Apple’s current iPhone 4 model, however it will include a few key points of differentiation. Among them are a larger 4-inch display that may stretch further to the edges of the device, thus allowing the overall size to remain unchanged, and a metal chassis in place of Apple’s current glass case. The report also claims that Apple’s iPhone 5 will feature an NFC chip, which could empower a close-proximity wireless payment solution that might some day replace credit cards. An earlier report on Monday suggested Qualcomm will supply Apple with NFC chips for the iPhone 5. More →
Rumors surrounding an NFC-equipped iPhone from Apple date back to last summer, when Apple hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier as its Commerce Product Manager. Speculation surrounding how Apple might use NFC dates back even further, of course, considering the many NFC-related Apple patents that have been revealed in the past. On Monday, the flames were rekindled yet again as The New York Times reported Apple will include NFC chips from Qualcomm in a future version of its iPhone handset. The Times’ report doesn’t specifically state that Apple’s next iPhone — referred to as the iPhone 5, for now — will include NFC capabilities, saying only that a “coming iteration” of Apple’s smartphone will include Qualcomm NFC chips. Following several reports however, many still anticipate that the iPhone 5 will indeed be the first Apple smartphone to include NFC capabilities. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone in June. More →
A new report emerged on Thursday that resurrects earlier rumors of a larger display on the upcoming iPhone 5, as well as a full circle return to the sleek metal case of days past. The Apple aficionados at 9to5 Mac claim to have a solid source at Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer responsible for building the iPhone, who claims iPhone 5 production is getting under way. Considering the next iPhone is expected to launch in June, this would certainly make sense. The mole reiterates earlier rumors that the iPhone 5 features two main design changes compared to the iPhone 4: a larger display and a metal case back. Other than that, the source suggests that the iPhone 5 looks much like the current model. Some have argued that the metal case on Apple’s original iPhone caused signal attenuation issues, but now that the company’s unique new external antenna design has been sprinkled with a dash of reality distortion, antenna attenuation and dropped calls are features, not bugs. Should it choose to continue utilizing the current design, Apple could use any materials it wants since the user’s hand does the attenuating, not the case. More →