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Fourth-generation iPhone cases match Apple's prototype design

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Photos of new iPhone third-party protective cases show accessories that were designed to meet the physical form factor of Apple's prototype fourth-generation handset.

As first discovered by HardMac, the cases from China feature the same rounded corners found in two prototype iPhones that leaked to the public. The back of the case features a larger space for both the camera and accompanying flash, and the side features holes for two rounded volume buttons.

The report noted that the cases are ready to ship, even though the next-generation iPhone has not yet been formally announced. Apple is expected to introduce the device at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, set to kick off on June 7.

The purported design of Apple's forthcoming iPhone has been photographed extensively, thanks to two high-profile leaks of the hardware. Most recently, a Vietnamese website obtained a prototype handset and dismantled it, revealing an A4 microprocessor and 256MB of system RAM powering the device. Prior to that, Gizmodo bought a prototype left at a bar for $5,000 and also disassembled the device to confirm it was made by Apple.

The new hardware features a forward-facing camera, an improved rear camera (believed to be 5 megapixels), a higher resolution display expected to be 960x640 pixels, and a second microphone expected to be used for noise canceling. Like the iPad, it relies on a Micro-SIM card for connectivity with a GSM wireless cellular network.

The new cases from China are designed to fit the shape of the prototype, which has a back that is completely flat, and reportedly made of a new material to improve cell reception. The new hardware also has split buttons for volume, which some have theorized could serve as a physical camera shutter button.
post #2 of 39
That looks like the Ideal Case Circle Series cases from www.ideal-case.com. I know those are exported from China. It doesn't make sense to make the case before you can mold the phone. They probably have a terrible fit.
post #3 of 39
As an iPhone 3GS 32G user, I spent over 20 minutes playing with an HTC Desire the other day, and the larger screen makes ALL the difference. In particular to typing on the on screen keyboard.

If the new iPhone really does feature a smaller screen, they have lost a customer in me. I sold my 3GS yesterday, and on June 7, if the new iPhone really is as un-inspired as the rumors, I'm migrating to Android and going for the HTC Desire.

Apple cannot rely on the App store forever. With services like MSpot and the more open platform offered by Android, if they don't stay leaps and bounds ahead and fix the call quality flaws with the iPhone, people will migrate. Just look at the Android USA figures.

I have owned masses of Apple products, love the company - am typing this on one of their most underrated products (Mac Mini), but think their one step behind approach to some features is starting to get annoying. Am fed up of waiting.
post #4 of 39
Do they really know something or are they reacting to the same leaks that everyone else is counting on, in order to get a jump on things?
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The new hardware also has split buttons for volume, which some have theorized could serve as a physical camera shutter button.

Without any additional evidence, I don't see how split volume buttons make it any more likely they could be used as a camera shutter button than the current volume button(s), which could just as easily have served that purpose.
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

Am fed up of waiting.

For real man... what's it been, like almost a year since the last iPhone came out? I mean what takes them a year to do? It's not like this is bleeding edge technology... it's a phone with a big screen... can't Apple innovate and re-invent their phone to keep up with competitors like every 45 days?

/sarcasm
post #7 of 39
Maybe the volume buttons will act like a Zoom In and Zoom Out function in camera mode.
post #8 of 39
Although, I think the prototypes are what we're going to get, the fact that these Chinese case makers have made cases that look like they'll fit the new phone, does NOT prove that the prototype is the next phone. The case makers could have simply created a mold based on the pictures they've seen in leaks. I doubt Apple is giving prototypes out to casemakers in China so they know how to create molds for their cases.
post #9 of 39
I meant that Apple have been several years behind in features we Europeans really like, such as a GOOD camera (with video, like the excellent Nokia N95 and several Samsung phones), decent call quality (like most Sony Ericcsons), USB charging (using standard cables), ability to use the phone as a USB drive, etc etc. All this can be done on the HTC Desire and some other Android phones.

Again, Apple cannot rely on the touch screen and app store forever. People want to escape, grow, and iPhone is not open enough. The only major pluses of the next iPhone are the HD video and high res screen. And battery life if they adopt the ipad/MacBook battery tech, which is excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yalskey View Post

For real man... what's it been, like almost a year since the last iPhone came out? I mean what takes them a year to do? It's not like this is bleeding edge technology... it's a phone with a big screen... can't Apple innovate and re-invent their phone to keep up with competitors like every 45 days?

/sarcasm
post #10 of 39
I'd assume these cases were specced from the leaked pics. Enough information was available from that source, no need for Apple to chime in.
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

I meant that Apple have been several years behind in features we Europeans really like, such as a GOOD camera (with video, like the excellent Nokia N95 and several Samsung phones), decent call quality (like most Sony Ericcsons), USB charging (using standard cables), ability to use the phone as a USB drive, etc etc. All this can be done on the HTC Desire and some other Android phones.

Again, Apple cannot rely on the touch screen and app store forever. People want to escape, grow, and iPhone is not open enough. The only major pluses of the next iPhone are the HD video and high res screen. And battery life if they adopt the ipad/MacBook battery tech, which is excellent.

Yeah... I got it. I was making a funny, dude. However, I still think it's fairly nearsighted to look at a 3GS 32GB iPhone and wish it could do more and had more advanced technology... just in a broad contextual sense it makes me shake my head and go "Wha wha whaaaatttt?"

Relax, there's NO WAY apple is going to drop the ball on one of it's most sucessful products of all time. Apple has always been pretty good at emphasizing and simplifying the features that MOST REAL CONSUMERS want... read: Not necessarily high-tech gadget nerds and specification-tweaking techno-geeks.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a high-tech gadget nerd and specification-tweaking techno-geek)
post #12 of 39
I suppose it's not outside the realm of possibility that someone could have gotten a mold of the new iPhone's exterior and designed a case off of that.

I wonder what the turnaround time is for a reputable case maker, like Belkin or Griffin, to get a case to market once the new iPhone is announced. I assume they would update some of their existing cases for the new phone, which would not take as long as designing a new case from scratch.

Anyone remember how long it was from when the 3G was announced before decent cases started showing up?
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

As an iPhone 3GS 32G user, I spent over 20 minutes playing with an HTC Desire the other day, and the larger screen makes ALL the difference. In particular to typing on the on screen keyboard.

If the new iPhone really does feature a smaller screen, they have lost a customer in me. I sold my 3GS yesterday, and on June 7, if the new iPhone really is as un-inspired as the rumors, I'm migrating to Android and going for the HTC Desire.

Apple cannot rely on the App store forever. With services like MSpot and the more open platform offered by Android, if they don't stay leaps and bounds ahead and fix the call quality flaws with the iPhone, people will migrate. Just look at the Android USA figures.

I have owned masses of Apple products, love the company - am typing this on one of their most underrated products (Mac Mini), but think their one step behind approach to some features is starting to get annoying. Am fed up of waiting.

You say the next iPhone sounds lame, but to me, your arguments against it sound similarly so.

You make a big deal out of the screen being smaller, but it's so fractionally smaller that it would be hard to even notice the difference and besides which, the resolution will be double the old phone and larger than any other smartphone on the market.

You talk about the call quality being a problem when in fact it's only a problem on AT&T in the USA.

You say your an Apple supporter, but you are using one of the weakest, cheapest, most marginal computers they ever released (talk about only putting a toe in the water!), and moan about their "one step behind" approach? That just tells me you don't know that much about Apple at all.

How is the new iPhone "uninspired"? It looks to me to be a fantastically sturdy, mature design that has better specs than any smartphone on the market.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

I meant that Apple have been several years behind in features we Europeans really like, such as a GOOD camera (with video, like the excellent Nokia N95 and several Samsung phones), decent call quality (like most Sony Ericcsons), USB charging (using standard cables), ability to use the phone as a USB drive, etc etc. All this can be done on the HTC Desire and some other Android phones.

Again, Apple cannot rely on the touch screen and app store forever. People want to escape, grow, and iPhone is not open enough. The only major pluses of the next iPhone are the HD video and high res screen. And battery life if they adopt the ipad/MacBook battery tech, which is excellent.

There is a saying "Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one and they all stink."

This is your opinion not fact. My smelly opinion is that my camera on the 3 GS works extremely well and takes video. It can be better and it appears it will be with the next release of the iPhone. My call quality is excellent. I apparently have none of the issues that you seem to be having. Everything else you mentioned means absolutely nothing to me and I couldn't care less if they ever appear.

My boss purchased a Droid and I had the opportunity to use it for a day or so and I couldn't wait to get back to my iPhone. I absolutely hated Android. it was horrendous and reminded me of having to use Linux on the desktop, arcane and confusing. That is why Android may have a bit of a growth spurt now due to the 5 billion variations of the same phone coming out right now but it will never be mainstream. And I really don't think depending on the numerous "skins" that try to make Android more iPhone like is going to make it accepted by the mainstream user any quicker. Most will just stick to the original.

Again, this is just my opinion and I'm sure to some it stinks.
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

You talk about the call quality being a problem when in fact it's only a problem on AT&T in the USA.

I am guessing you have not used an iPhone outside the USA or compared one side by side with another AT&T phone. The cal problems are definitely not all AT&T.
post #16 of 39
Anyone else notice how the side profile of the new iPhone is reminiscent of the Title Bar of application windows in Mac OSX? The gray is the same, the circle buttons for volume are the same as the close, minimize, maximize in the window, and the proportions of the circles to the top tab (whatever its official name is) are also quite similar.

I can imagine the design folks sitting at their computers thinking about what a new design direction could be and then looking at the window title area and thinking, Eureka!

Or maybe it's much more deliberate than that. There's power in the subliminal. If you get 80 million people using that phone and loving it, when the uninitiated to Mac-dom see OSX in action some deep part of them will say, "I like this... I feel like I know it, even from looks".

Didn't I hear that the dock will look lots more like the Mac OSX dock, too?
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

I meant that Apple have been several years behind in features we Europeans really like, such as a GOOD camera (with video, like the excellent Nokia N95 and several Samsung phones), decent call quality (like most Sony Ericcsons), USB charging (using standard cables), ability to use the phone as a USB drive, etc etc. All this can be done on the HTC Desire and some other Android phones.

Again, Apple cannot rely on the touch screen and app store forever. People want to escape, grow, and iPhone is not open enough. The only major pluses of the next iPhone are the HD video and high res screen. And battery life if they adopt the ipad/MacBook battery tech, which is excellent.

Jailbreaking requires one click, then the OS is as open as you want, so I'll have to call BS on that reason for switching. If you want a HTC Desire, go buy it and start complaining on the Android boards when better phones inevitably come out. Either way, if you have nothing to add, it's pointless for you to stay here.

PS: The next gen iPhone screen is the same size as the current one. Gizmodo only said smaller to confirm that the panel was different. Every time Apple changes the iPhones display panel, the dimensions change slightly, but not enough to change the 3.5" diagonal measurement.
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post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Do they really know something or are they reacting to the same leaks that everyone else is counting on, in order to get a jump on things?

Apple releases some specs (physical ones) to case manufacturers and other third-party accessory makers in advance. They won't divulge the specs of the internal components though.
post #19 of 39
Is it just me or is there no hole for the back camera? Most of the cases are overlapping, except for the black one, and I see no cutout for the camera. I could be missing it though.
post #20 of 39
That's very bad news.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

How is the new iPhone "uninspired"? It looks to me to be a fantastically sturdy, mature design that has better specs than any smartphone on the market.

Possibly the best phone on the market, yes, but it looks horrible. It seems to be a step backwards in terms of ergonomics and aesthetics. When I first saw the leaked images I though it was a crappy Chinese rip-off, but it seems that Apple are set to release this thing.
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

I am guessing you have not used an iPhone outside the USA or compared one side by side with another AT&T phone. The cal problems are definitely not all AT&T.

Well obviously I haven't been around the world testing iPhone call quality in every country with every carrier.

On the other hand though, I've never heard of anyone complaining about call quality other than if they have a bad carrier, so it's hardly a "fault" of the iPhone. It's also well known that AT&T customers make up the majority of online complaints about call quality, dropping calls, etc., especially when you filter out those that occur simply because of the remoteness of the location.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post

Is it just me or is there no hole for the back camera? Most of the cases are overlapping, except for the black one, and I see no cutout for the camera. I could be missing it though.

The cases are face down. Check the left side of the black one, you can see the hole for the Camera and the Flash... took me a second, too...
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

Possibly the best phone on the market, yes, but it looks horrible. It seems to be a step backwards in terms of ergonomics and aesthetics. When I first saw the leaked images I though it was a crappy Chinese rip-off, but it seems that Apple are set to release this thing.

Well aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder, and ergonomics can't be tested until the phone is actually in your hand, so we shall see in a couple of weeks I suppose.

I would bet money right now though, that this particular model will not only be the standard for the next 3 to 5 years, but also that it will be wildly popular, and widely hailed as the best design ever.

Personally, (since this is a thread about cases), I think cases are almost always useless and very ugly, but that doesn't stop them from being wildly popular. Perhaps this design is a win-win in that it appeals to the hardware geeks "in the raw," but can be covered with some (more aesthetically pleasing for some), rubberised, rounded case. The best of both worlds.
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

Possibly the best phone on the market, yes, but it looks horrible. It seems to be a step backwards in terms of ergonomics and aesthetics. When I first saw the leaked images I though it was a crappy Chinese rip-off, but it seems that Apple are set to release this thing.

Can almost guarantee that you will see the aesthetics of this rev become the model for many other phones and other products. Just as most of the iterations of the imac resulted in look-a-like products from PC companies and lamps and toys, we will see designs inspired by this model in other products, most especially phones.

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post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Well aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder, and ergonomics can't be tested until the phone is actually in your hand, so we shall see in a couple of weeks I suppose.

I would bet money right now though, that this particular model will not only be the standard for the next 3 to 5 years, but also that it will be wildly popular, and widely hailed as the best design ever.

Personally, (since this is a thread about cases), I think cases are almost always useless and very ugly, but that doesn't stop them from being wildly popular. Perhaps this design is a win-win in that it appeals to the hardware geeks "in the raw," but can be covered with some (more aesthetically pleasing for some), rubberised, rounded case. The best of both worlds.

My guess is that the new design will be around for three years for another major redesign. The next generation iPod touch will probably look similar.

Cases can certainly be useful. I bought a silicone case for my first iPod touch after I got tired of dropping it. However, I agree that they are ugly.
post #27 of 39
Phones are supposed to be like cars..started off square and ugly..as time goes by the edges round out to the point of no square edge..is apple trying to get away from its look because EVERY phone is looking like it?
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

Possibly the best phone on the market, yes, but it looks horrible. It seems to be a step backwards in terms of ergonomics and aesthetics. When I first saw the leaked images I though it was a crappy Chinese rip-off, but it seems that Apple are set to release this thing.

Pictures are just that. Pictures. Wait for it to be released. A lot of smaller devices don't look good when blown up to 3x their size. The look and feel of aluminum and glass is not apparent in pictures, it might as well be plastic, but there is a difference in reality.

Judging ergonomics by the pictures is even worse. Alone, it looks like a brick and that it would be awkward to hold, but then a side by side shot with the 3GS shows just how much thinner it is. I'd wait to hold one before judging it.
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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripAcez View Post

Phones are supposed to be like cars..started off square and ugly..as time goes by the edges round out to the point of no square edge..is apple trying to get away from its look because EVERY phone is looking like it?

Design is cyclical.
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post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripAcez View Post

Phones are supposed to be like cars..started off square and ugly..as time goes by the edges round out to the point of no square edge..is apple trying to get away from its look because EVERY phone is looking like it?

True if you were around in the 70's... The 80's and 90's we filled with odd hybrids of bubbly square cars (see Taurus). Rounded edges are more like the 50's. Now, aggressive lines and a combination of soft and hard transitions are the way to go. My point is it fluctuates.

The corners are still rounded. The edges/seams just aren't. (I mean, it's not a brick with squared off corners)

It's thin and metal. The chrome plastic bezel is dated, and I'm glad they removed it.

It's sharp. Not in a "edge's will cut you" way, but in the sleek, sexy way. They just need to clean up the edges a bit. I'm sure they will by release date.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by yalskey View Post

For real man... what's it been, like almost a year since the last iPhone came out? I mean what takes them a year to do? It's not like this is bleeding edge technology... it's a phone with a big screen... can't Apple innovate and re-invent their phone to keep up with competitors like every 45 days?

/sarcasm



I really doubt that the leisurely once-yearly update cycle will last forever with the iPhone.

Things are moving fast. I wonder if Apple should work on becoming more nimble? They are so damn big now. If/when they do an update/feature for iPh0one OS, for example, several teams need to integrate it into various products. Do they need some major reorganization in order to better keep up with/lead the market?
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by yalskey View Post

For real man... what's it been, like almost a year since the last iPhone came out? I mean what takes them a year to do? It's not like this is bleeding edge technology... it's a phone with a big screen... can't Apple innovate and re-invent their phone to keep up with competitors like every 45 days?

/sarcasm



I really doubt that the leisurely once-yearly update cycle will last forever with the iPhone.

Things are moving fast. I wonder if Apple should work on becoming more nimble? They are so damn big now. If/when they do an update/feature for iPh0one OS, for example, several teams need to integrate it into various products. Do they need some major reorganization in order to better keep up with/lead the market?
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

I really doubt that the leisurely once-yearly update cycle will last forever with the iPhone.

Things are moving fast. I wonder if Apple should work on becoming more nimble? They are so damn big now. If/when they do an update/feature for iPh0one OS, for example, several teams need to integrate it into various products. Do they need some major reorganization in order to better keep up with/lead the market?

Good point.

However, until Apple is hurting, or looks like they may start lagging, there's no reason to do anything more than they are doing, which is being very VERY successful.

Now, if anyone wanted to put that statement to the test, just quote it but with "Microsoft" in place of the word "Apple". This is where WilliamG's comment becomes very applicable. We don't want Apple to get as out of touch and monsterous (in size and behavior) as Microsoft.

Zune 4 HD Mini v1.23, Service pack 3, Ultimate Edition, with Windows 7 Phone Series anyone? Didn't think so.

I think I made my point. :-)
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

I meant that Apple have been several years behind in features we Europeans really like, such as a GOOD camera (with video, like the excellent Nokia N95 and several Samsung phones), decent call quality (like most Sony Ericcsons), USB charging (using standard cables), ability to use the phone as a USB drive, etc etc. All this can be done on the HTC Desire and some other Android phones.

Again, Apple cannot rely on the touch screen and app store forever. People want to escape, grow, and iPhone is not open enough. The only major pluses of the next iPhone are the HD video and high res screen. And battery life if they adopt the ipad/MacBook battery tech, which is excellent.

Ahhh yes! Phone as a USB drive!!! Would love to transfer an important set of files while my boss is calling me. What an innovation!
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post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

I really doubt that the leisurely once-yearly update cycle will last forever with the iPhone.

Things are moving fast. I wonder if Apple should work on becoming more nimble? They are so damn big now. If/when they do an update/feature for iPh0one OS, for example, several teams need to integrate it into various products. Do they need some major reorganization in order to better keep up with/lead the market?

A reorg wouldn't help.

To state it simply, Apple does not have staff to put out three or four phones a year. They run a very lean organization, about 35,000 employees worldwide.

Heck, they are struggling to keep their schedule when they debut a new product like the iPad.
post #36 of 39
There were a bunch of iPod Touch cases coming out with a hole for a camera. That never materialized. I think that the design of the prototypes is close, but not identical to the final version. So just having cases come out does not guarantee that they are proof that design will be identical to the one we saw.
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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

I really doubt that the leisurely once-yearly update cycle will last forever with the iPhone.

Things are moving fast. I wonder if Apple should work on becoming more nimble? They are so damn big now. If/when they do an update/feature for iPh0one OS, for example, several teams need to integrate it into various products. Do they need some major reorganization in order to better keep up with/lead the market?

Their "leisurely once-yearly update cycle" works alot better than Androids "I've released and iPhone killer...lets release another one two weeks afterwords with better specs". It doesn't make sense. Apple likes to polish it's products to the point that it doesn't have to release one every couple weeks. The only reason Android phones are so popular is because they spam the market with dozens of phones. And these phones may have more advanced features but in each one, the user interface is clunky and there is no polish to the system at all. They are ALWAYS lacking the seamlessness of the iPhone experience.
post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Prior to that, Gizmodo bought a prototype left at a bar for $5,000 and also disassembled the device to confirm it was made by Apple.

Should be put like this:
Quote:
Prior to that, Gizmodo bought a prototype for $5,000...

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #39 of 39
Pretty cool design in my opinion. It's more iPad like.
I wonder if the new iPod touch will emulate the iPhone's new design.
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