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iPhone 5 rumored going back to aluminum

updated 07:20 am EST, Mon March 7, 2011

iPhone 5 may use aluminum shell

A report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News (data in the untranslated sheet) along with separate tips suggest Apple may be reverting back to the iPhone's original aluminum material for the iPhone 5. The company was reportedly unhappy with the scratching, white paint issues and heaviness of the glass. MacOtakara suggested that Apple would follow the antenna strategy it uses for the iPad and would put the antenna reception through the company logo.

How accurate this would be is unknown. Unlike on the iPad, the iPhone's logo is much smaller and wouldn't offer much of a reception window. The original iPhone used a larger plastic bottom portion, and any new model would likely need a similar amount of coverage, though not necessarily in an identical shape.

Regardless of the likelihood, Apple is likely unhappy with the fallout from the iPhone 4's design. While it has been the most popular iPhone by a wide margin based on sales, the antenna controversy and issues with the glass may have hurt its image and sales potential. Doubts have existed over whether or not Mark Papermaster's exit was owed to the iPhone 4, but he would have some oversight of the product.

Most now expect the iPhone 5 to use a variant of the dual-core A5 in the iPad 2 and to use an eight-megapixel camera. Apple has almost always unveiled new iPhones in June and shipped them either the same month or in July.

Aluminum mockup based on iPad 2-style design (not likely the real design)

by MacNN Staff



  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not going to happen

    This is not going to happen.
    The iPhone would need more than the Apple Logo in the aluminium back to allow the antennas to work.

    The 3G iPad has a HUGE black plastic panel for the 3g Antenna, and the original iPhone also had a large black plastic panel.

  1. Person Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wrong Antenna Placement

    Putting the antenna behind the Apple logo would place it too close to the person's head when using it. Cell phone manufacturers put their antennas at the bottom of the phone these days, since that's the farthest from the head they can put them, in order to minimize the brain's exposure to radiation. They would have to put the Apple logo at the bottom of the case, which is something they would most likely never do.

  1. Cronocide

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think it would be cool though....

    No reception? Raise the apple to God!

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hopefully not

    Hopefully not, for however nice the iPad and iPod touches look, the iPhone 4 is probably the sexiest piece of Apple kit ever created! The glass feels sooo good in your hand, and looks amazing! Besides third party case makers would throw a fit haha, Besides, if the front is glass they still have a glass surface, and Apple isn't going to curve the edges up to protect the front glass so putting aluminium on the back and s******* with reception won't be worth it.

    Also the Verizon iPhone has a new design that limits the ability to death grip it, so that should be fine then. My guess is they'll use that same design.

  1. facebook_Jean-Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011


    Back to Aluminum?

    I think not!
    I would miss the slab form factor of the iPhone4 which was a major buying decision for me. In fact, I was hoping that the iPad2 would follow suit. Needless to say, I was disappointed. As far as I can see, nor do I claim to be a product designer, how hard can it be to modify the case so as to avoid to another antenna scandal? The glass is a lot sexier to look at than the aluminum.
    More importantly, I am not buying on any rumor at this point...

  1. HappySlug

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What about the LiquidMetal purchase?

    What about making use of the LiquidMetal purchase Apple made last year? When I read about that I wondered if they would use that for the next iPhone case design.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I hope so!

    The old iPhones had way better handling, they just felt nicer in your hand than the sharp(ish) edge of the iPhone 4. Sure, the slab looks better, but the 3G (S) was better to hold.

    But, what a lazy-a ss mockup... they just took the recessed headphone jack from the iPhone 2G, which Apple thankfully remedied in subsequent models.

  1. ASIMO

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I would like a built-in kickstand.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Possible for different reasons though.

    It is possible that the addition of a faster dual-core A5 processor might require additional cooling that sinking the processor to an aluminium back would provide. Of course this is not the explanation the analysts are suggesting. I seem to remember an Apple patent for radio-transparent ceramics a while back, also. Rumours, rumours... who knows!

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who Really Cares!

    your comment

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