updated 08:00 pm EDT, Sun July 29, 2012
May be faked, but matches previous specs, leaks
A Japanese repair site has cleverly taken various parts that have been previously reported as being from the sixth-generation iPhone (often referred to as the "iPhone 5" to follow the iPhone 4S) and assembled a non-working casing to better illustrate what it believes the next iPhone, The lack of internal parts suggests that the leaks are mostly coming from casing parts suppliers rather than from inside Foxconn, where final assembly takes place. The assembled unit is seen to include the redesigned (and possibly
Other changes, mostly noted by AppleInsider, include a slightly redesigned home button, the two-tone finish on the back (seen to be improved over previous parts leaks) and a possible back microphone pinhole between the camera and flash. The assembled unit is also said to be thinner than even the latest iPhone 4 and 4S models.
It should be noted that the widespread proliferation of 3D prototyping equipment and improved computer rendering techniques make it possible to create highly-realistic parts and images that look real, and that a number of agencies and individuals have released clearly mocked-up images based on rumoured or leaked parts. These latest images from iLab Factory could fall into that category, though the site takes pains to show the parts as genuine, and the finish on the exterior case appears to match the level of quality one would expect in Apple's handiwork.
Analysts and pundits believe the company is likely to launch the next iPhone model sometime in the fall, with increased competition from companies like Samsung putting pressure on Apple to debut the product earlier rather than later. Apple is likely to favor a launch date that would allow the next iPhone to debut alongside iOS 6, which is currently in the later stages of testing and also expected sometime this fall. Pricing, internal specifications and whether the older iPhone 3GS (still capable of running the next iOS release) would finally be discontinued are not presently known. [via AppleInsider]
The lack of internal parts suggests that the leaks are mostly coming from casing parts suppliers rather than from inside Foxconn, where final assembly takes place. The assembled unit is seen to include the redesigned (and possibly