updated 01:00 pm EST, Wed January 25, 2012
Several sample devices in circulation
An iPhone 5 is being prepared for production, claims a source at Apple's main Chinese manufacturing partner, Foxconn. The person adds that several non-final sample devices are currently in circulation, each varying slightly. All of them, though, are said to be longer and wider than the iPhone 4S, use a 4-inch display, and have neither the 4S form factor nor the teardrop shape sometimes rumored prior to the 4S' launch. The source is said to be one of those who said an iPhone 5 wouldn't happen last fall.
If the device follows the roughly five-month production lead time of the iPhone 4S, Apple could be returning to a summer launch schedule. The 4S was considered a disappointment in some quarters as it not only shipped in October, rather than June or July as usual, but had a relatively modest set of improvements such as a better camera and a faster, dual-core processor. The iPhone 5 has been rumored as getting not only a 4-inch screen, but a quad-core processor and LTE-based 4G, among other improvements.