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Japanese repair lab assembles 'new iPhone' from parts leaks

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, expected this fall, will look like. While the iLab Factory prototype could be a decoy or fake, the parts and assembly match various reports of the planned redesign and may represent a mostly-accurate look at the next model.

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 microUSB compatible) smaller 19-pin dock connector, a centered front-faceing FaceTime camera, a longer and more widescreen four-inch display (up from the current iPhone's traditional 3.5-inch screen) and a relocated headphone jack (now on the bottom of the device rather than the top).

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]






By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-04-04

    Another year of basically the same design...sigh. I didn't upgrade my iPhone 4 since the 4S was such a minor upgrade and now it looks like the iPhone 5 (or whatever it will be called) will basically have the same design with a slightly bigger screen.

  1. splateagle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-11-07

    Oh come off it! :lol: by this logic Apple's pro laptop range has been "basically the same design" since the Titanium PowerBook G4 launched in 2001.

    If the form factor is your only consideration then sure, the 4S was a "minor" upgrade, but (speaking as a 4S owner who's used a 4) once you're doing more than just looking at its outer casing, you quickly see it's a substantially better and more capable product.

    Apple's design ethos is minimalist so yes, there are bound to be only subtle changes in the devices' shapes from version to version.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by lamewingView Post

    Another year of basically the same design...sigh. I didn't upgrade my iPhone 4 since the 4S was such a minor upgrade and now it looks like the iPhone 5 (or whatever it will be called) will basically have the same design with a slightly bigger screen.



    There was absolutely nothing "minor" about the upgrade from the 4 to the 4S. It was a substantial upgrade in EVERY way except the exterior design.

    For Apple, fewer redesigns equates to more recognizable products.

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