updated 11:30 am EDT, Thu August 18, 2011
Wintek factory photo alludes to iPhone 5 changes
A photo from a Wintek plant captured by a Weibo user has supported beliefs the iPhone 5 will have at least some design changes. Touch panels going through the contractor's quality assurance process support views that the next iPhone will have a larger screen. Along with the screen itself appearing bigger, the home button appears to now be an oval and suggests Apple might have 'squashed' the control, either to fit the larger screen or to accommodate interface needs.
The nature of the screensisn't completely confirmed, but it lines up with Apple's past practices. Wintek is Apple's main touch panel supplier and at this stage would already be producing the front layers to send off to Foxconn for manufacturing. Most anticipate the next iPhone arriving in October with the production run-up having just recently started.
The iPhone has had one of the most conservative screen sizes in the industry, staying at 3.5 inches in the past four years. Android phone makers have gradually increased sizes to where four inches is common and the largest phones have 4.5-inch displays. The size has triggered some backlash. Rumors have suggested Apple will try to counter this by keeping the phone's total size the same and simply running the screen closer to the edge.