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Prototype next-gen iPhone parts show same screen size, design as iPhone 4

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
Pictures that show a purported next-generation iPhone prototype feature a screen size and design that appears largely identical to the current iPhone 4.

The details come from an LCD display and digitizer component obtained by MacPost. The LCD component is labeled as "N94 EVT 1," which indicates it is an iPhone prototype that was in the Engineering Verification Testing phase.

The component carries a manufacture date of March 3, 2011. That indicates the prototype is older than the "EVT2" handset that was pictured last week, which carried a manufacture date of June 7, 2011.

Both the components from last week, which featured a back panel, and this week, with the front LCD, show a design unchanged from the current iPhone 4. Reports have been conflicted as to whether Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will look similar to the iPhone 4, or if it will feature a new design.

Some speculation has suggested Apple will update the iPhone 4 to a model dubbed the iPhone 4S. The new hardware could serve as an entry-level model, much like the 8GB iPhone 3GS sells alongside the current iPhone 4.



However, one report last week from Reuters cited anonymous sources who indicated a fifth-generation iPhone will have a design largely identical to the current iPhone 4. Those sources reportedly said the handset will have a slightly bigger touchscreen, along with a better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera.

Further confusing matters, a number of third-party cases have appeared in China showing a fifth-generation iPhone with a new design. Those cases show a handset with angled sides and a flat back, similar to the structure of the iPad 2.
post #2 of 88
This year seems ideal for Apple to grow the iPhone brand into two distinct screen sizes.
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post #3 of 88
a lot of people who are expecting a redesign will be VERY disappointed...
post #4 of 88
Given Android's market dominance and the vast array of Android handset designs available Apple would very foolish not to introduce something visibly new.
post #5 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

a lot of people who are expecting a redesign will be VERY disappointed...

You mean all of the people expecting a redesign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Given Android's market dominance and the vast array of Android handset designs available Apple would very foolish not to introduce something visibly new.

Said in 2008, 2009, and 2010. No different today.

Originally Posted by helia

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post #6 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

a lot of people who are expecting a redesign will be VERY disappointed...

I like the iPhone 4 design and would love to see it retain the same form factor for the fact that I have accessories that I can use on it. It would be great, though, if the back isn't made of glass like the current iPhone 4.

Aside from that, Apple will upgrade the internals to A5, better camera, more RAM and storage, more features, etc... That's all I expect. I'd love to be able to use my old accessories on it.
post #7 of 88
So many speculations, so few lost test devices... I wonder if all iPhone testers are forced to become teetotalers nowadays...
post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Given Android's market dominance and the vast array of Android handset designs available Apple would very foolish not to introduce something visibly new.

You'd think so... but Apple is still growing quarter after quarter.

Apple sold 20 million 3.5" iPhones last quarter...

But, like you, I'm hoping for a larger iPhone.
post #9 of 88
If the best Apple can come up with after almost a year and a half is an upgrade of internal components, it will likely hurt the company's image. I personally think there will likely be some sort of overhaul of the design. If Apple was just going to make internal changes, there would be little reason to delay the launch of the phone until fall.
post #10 of 88
Apple is suing Samsung over copying the look of the iPhone4 so it makes sense that the look of the iPhone5 won't change very much. However, the inside silicon mated with iOS5, well, just how cool is iPhone 5 gonna be?

post #11 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Given Android's market dominance and the vast array of Android handset designs available Apple would very foolish not to introduce something visibly new.

Is that unit share of OS market dominance where you have to include all devices from all vendors from Android but then for Apple, a single vendor, you have exclude all their devices except their iPhone? I guess when you put it that way Android is bestest¡
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post #12 of 88
I don't see any reason why Apple would want to substantially change the exterior design of the iPhone this year. The current design is fabulous. At most, I guess it might perhaps become a half millimeter or so thinner. The first iPhone design lasted three years. I expect the current iPhone design will also last two to four years.
Mac user since August 1983.
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post #13 of 88
2 models
bells and whistles
less bells and whistles
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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post #14 of 88
After reading the iPhone 5 rumors for a few months now, I'm finally ready to offer my own prediction: the screen on the next iPhone will either be larger than, smaller than, or the same size as that of the current model.
post #15 of 88
I suspect that the current design becomes the new entry level design (as happened with the 3GS), and the redesign sports the larger screen, new case, and so on.

One interesting data point: Element Case, who makes aluminum iPhone cases, is currently offering a trade-in-your-old-case-and-get-50%-off sale.

To me, this means that they're trying to blow out their current inventory before something new hits...
post #16 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

2 models
bells and whistles
less bells and whistles

iPhone.
iPod touch.

Already have that. Next.

Originally Posted by helia

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post #17 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I don't see any reason why Apple would want to substantially change the exterior design of the iPhone this year. The current design is fabulous.

I like the current design, too. And yet, whenever Apple releases a new design for any of their products, they somehow make the previous one look outdated. It's pretty amazing actually.

Anyway, the iPhone 4 doesn't feel "old" to me. It came out only 13 months ago, and it launched on Verizon since then, so I feel like it's still "new" to a lot of people.
post #18 of 88
I think the iPhone 4 is the best hardware on the market...period...and the only thing I can see possibly happening is an iPhone 4 variant with lower specs for a lower price and perhaps an iPhone 5 with a larger screen...however I think 1yr after the new form factor came to play an iPhone 5 with a larger screen would hurt in regard to accessories and while I doubt people wouldn't buy it for that reason I just don't see Apple forcing it's people to buy completely new accessories for their phones like that....

Could be wrong though...and I'd like to see a 4inch iPhone...but it just doesn't seem likely.
post #19 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

The first iPhone design lasted three years. I expect the current iPhone design will also last two to four years.

The first iPhone casing lasted one year. Even less if you consider it was sold out for a good 6 weeks before the iPhone 3G with the new design went on sale. The iPhone 3G and 3GS kept the same casing.
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post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I don't see any reason why Apple would want to substantially change the exterior design of the iPhone this year. The current design is fabulous. At most, I guess it might perhaps become a half millimeter or so thinner. The first iPhone design lasted three years. I expect the current iPhone design will also last two to four years.

The first phone lasted 1 year. The 2nd phone lasted 2 years. The 4th phone exists now.

I see a few reasons they'd change it.

1. iPhone 4 users get something worth upgrading for. I am addicted to the iPhone and I feel no desire to upgrade if it's just a boosted up iPhone 4.

2. accessory sales. By keeping the same design, people keep the same cases, and other components.

3. although it has calmed down (and I never had any issues), there are many potential customers out there who associate problems with the physical design of the phone, with the antenna.

4. People are going to wonder what Apple has been doing in those offices for 15 or 16 months if they just throw out a carbon copy of what we already have.

The goal of any company should be to make as much money as humanly possible. That's the only reason any company exists. If they don't take into consideration the things mentioned above, they are throwing millions of dollars down the drain. I should've been Steve's replacement.
post #21 of 88
I'd be disappointed if this were true. Even a slightly larger screen does make a tangible difference, I'd really like a 4 inch display iPhone.
post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_peripheral View Post

The goal of any company should be to make as much money as humanly possible. That's the only reason any company exists. If they don't take into consideration the things mentioned above, they are throwing millions of dollars down the drain. I should've been Steve's replacement.

But you have to consider customer satisfaction as a means of making money in the long term. If it's just about a myopic view of making as much money as possible then there would be expense paid to customer support, which Apple excels at.

It might behoove them to keep the iPhone 4 dimensions for another cycle because there are accessories out for it now, instead of being available months down the line. They can still make major changes internally despite one aspect being the same, just as they did with the displays of the first three iPhones despite the resolution staying the same.

As you noted in your first sentence they did keep the same exact casing for 2 years in a row so that either means what I say is correct or that Apple dropped the ball on understanding how to make money with the iPhone, which simply isn't the case.
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post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

If the best Apple can come up with after almost a year and a half is an upgrade of internal components, it will likely hurt the company's image. I personally think there will likely be some sort of overhaul of the design. If Apple was just going to make internal changes, there would be little reason to delay the launch of the phone until fall.

I agree with you,.. why delay for internal changes,..
post #24 of 88
This rumor, I buy. It will be the '4s' or similar.
post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

I'd be disappointed if this were true. Even a slightly larger screen does make a tangible difference, I'd really like a 4 inch display iPhone.

3.7, you mean 3.7. Look, this is obviously the iPhone 4S, for the low end market. I remember an earnings call they said they wanted to compete in the low end market, and this is the device to do it.

iPhone 5, which will also be announced, will have the 3.7 inch display (a good time to make the switch as iOS5 adds some major features, so it would be OK to slide in a new supported screen size.

Why 3.7? It is cheaper to make retina displays, but also because of gender. Women will have a tougher time using a 4.0 device due to hand size. 3.7 is somewhere in the middle. Women also form over 50% of the population and a good chuck of iPhone users. Don't get me wrong, some women have no problem using 4.0, but if apple did any type of testing they will see that physical size does matter in terms of usability for those with smaller hands and can be a factor in purchasing decision.

But of course we will have to wait and see.
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post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But you have to consider customer satisfaction as a means of making money in the long term. If it's just about a myopic view of making as much money as possible then there would be expense paid to customer support, which Apple excels at.

It might behoove them to keep the iPhone 4 dimensions for another cycle because there are accessories out for it now, instead of being available months down the line. They can still make major changes internally despite one aspect being the same, just as they did with the displays of the first three iPhones despite the resolution staying the same.

As you noted in your first sentence they did keep the same exact casing for 2 years in a row so that either means what I say is correct or that Apple dropped the ball on understanding how to make money with the iPhone, which simply isn't the case.

I dont know exactly what is going to happen. They have kept the same design before, but with that they changed almost everything else about the phone, and it all mattered back then. Now, if they change the internals, the 4 is powerful enough to handle all the new iOS changes, so what's the point of upgrading? All I can say for sure is what's going to happen for myself. If they release a newly designed phone, I'm in. If they don't, I'm out. Thousands of people feel the same. Millions of dollars lost.

That's my place.
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

If the best Apple can come up with after almost a year and a half is an upgrade of internal components, it will likely hurt the company's image. I personally think there will likely be some sort of overhaul of the design. If Apple was just going to make internal changes, there would be little reason to delay the launch of the phone until fall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scafe2 View Post

I agree with you,.. why delay for internal changes,..

I believe the delay is for iCloud and iOS 5 to be ready.
post #28 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

I'd be disappointed if this were true. Even a slightly larger screen does make a tangible difference, I'd really like a 4 inch display iPhone.

Agreed. But in anycase, Im ready to dump the 3GS. Just bring it Apple!

tap, tap tap, waiting patiently for new model iphone, tap, tap, tap
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post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_peripheral View Post

If they release a newly designed phone, I'm in. If they don't, I'm out. Thousands of people feel the same. Millions of dollars lost.

Thousands of people and millions of dollars lost? Have you noticed they keep selling more and more iPhones (even braking records with a 14 month old device) while still not being able to keep up with demand. Apple can't have everyone buy a new iPhone every year. The world's resources are too finite for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Applecation View Post

I believe the delay is for iCloud and iOS 5 to be ready.

I'm not so sure. iOS 5.0 Beta 1 was pretty well baked. I think the iOS 5.0 teams were all working under an assumed 12 month cycle so everything else was gravy when they finally got notice of the Autumn release. iCloud is also not something that had to come out exactly when the iPhone was released and there are plenty of aspects that make it feel it's mostly waiting in the wings for the next iPhone.

For those reasons I think there is either a HW or logistical reason the iPhone has been pushed back 3 months. HW would be sourcing a certain component. Logistical could be simply moving the new yearly release data to the Fall to coincide with the iPod special event. The iPod Touch and iPhone do share plenty of elements, and the iPod sales and mindshare do keep shrinking while the iPhone keeps growing. It makes sense to pair these two together and have separated from Apple's other huge product, the iPad, by 6 months instead of just 3. It's certainly how I would manage these releases if i were in such a position.
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post #30 of 88
People have to remember that Apple uses a 3:2 aspect ratio screen, while it appears Android is moving to a 16:9 screen. These aspect ratios have tradeoffs.

A 4" 3:2 screen will be just as wide in portrait orientation as a 4.5" 16:9 screen. So, if you are concerned about how wide a phone should be, a 4" 3:2 screen with the current bezel widths seen in the iPhone 4 today will be ~2.6" wide. That's pushing PDA territory, and it'll reduce the one-handed functionality for an increasingly larger population of users.

4" may be too large for significant portion of users. Even with the 3.5, I can have trouble touching the opposite, upper corners with my thumbs for single handed operation.

Also, I would be skeptical about the "edge-to-edge" display rumors. The screen and glass has to be seated down into the phone and the LCD has to be laminated to the glass. There needs to be some bezel. There's about half a mm of bezel between the pixels and the edge of the LCD itself, let alone between the edge of the LCD and the edge of the glass (the bezel). There's got to be mm of so of bezel. So, 3.7" is the most I think they can expand in the current 58.6 mm wide (2.31") form factor.

A 4.5" 3:2 screen will likely mean a 3" wide device. That's Palm III sized! Don't think it is workable for one hand.
post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thousands of people and millions of dollars lost? Have you noticed they keep selling more and more iPhones (even braking records with a 14 month old device) while still not being able to keep up with demand. Apple can't have everyone buy a new iPhone every year. The world's resources are too finite for that.

I'm not gonna get into an argument about this, it's useless. All I know is what's true. If they change the design, I will buy one. If not, I won't. I know that there are thousands of people out there who feel the same way, especially people who don't care about internals. Think about all those people out there who will reject an iPhone 4S clone because it looks exactly like what they have, without even realizing it has better internals.

As much as I wish I did sometimes, I don't have any stock in Apple, so in the end it doesn't matter to me if they sink. It's just a stupid decision to clone the 4.

I'm done here. I love you.
post #32 of 88
Expect just a speed bump and maybe a higher resolution camera.

If this was a brand new design, I would expect Apple to hold a separate event. Right now, it appears that the iPhone update will be just another "bullet point" in the iPod event.
post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Expect just a speed bump and maybe a higher resolution camera.

If this was a brand new design, I would expect Apple to hold a separate event. Right now, it appears that the iPhone update will be just another "bullet point" in the iPod event.

No, right now it appears that we're going to have a September iPhone Event with the iPods as a bullet point to that.

Originally Posted by helia

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post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Given Android's market dominance and the vast array of Android handset designs available Apple would very foolish not to introduce something visibly new.

"Market dominance?"
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post #35 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Expect just a speed bump and maybe a higher resolution camera.

If this was a brand new design, I would expect Apple to hold a separate event. Right now, it appears that the iPhone update will be just another "bullet point" in the iPod event.

No, iPod will be a bullet point in the iPhone event. iPhone is the biggest money maker for Apple. iPods, perhaps aside from touch, are sliding into a marginal territory as people transition to phones as iPods.

I doubt apple would be content just leaving the phone exactly the same, because the payoff on investment in new design is more than enough to cover the cost.

Apple has already gotten some major competitors out of business, only Android remains. With iOS 5 and iCloud it would only make sense to go all out and intro a new design as well to sweep the people off their feet and buy or return to the iPhone.
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post #36 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Both the components from last week, which featured a back panel, and this week, with the front LCD, show a design unchanged from the current iPhone 4. ....

This place is just getting sooo sloppy in it's reporting.

The white back panel from last week showed a design quite different from the current design. It appeared to be made of plastic, was laminated together with other components and cables and attached in a completely different way than the current back plate.

It may have been a fake, it may have been for another phone, but one thing it was clearly not was "a design unchanged from the current iPhone 4."
post #37 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This place is just getting sooo sloppy in it's reporting.

The white back panel from last week showed a design quite different from the current design. It appeared to be made of plastic, was laminated together with other components and cables and attached in a completely different way than the current back plate.

It may have been a fake, it may have been for another phone, but one thing it was clearly not was "a design unchanged from the current iPhone 4."

it wasn't necessarily plastic. why do people keep saying that? it clearly had a plastic wrap over it, kinda like a screen protector. you can see it coming off the edges.
post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Pictures that show a purported next-generation iPhone prototype feature a screen size and design that appears largely identical to the current iPhone 4.

The details come from an LCD display and digitizer component obtained by MacPost. The LCD component is labeled as "N94 EVT 1," which indicates it is an iPhone prototype that was in the Engineering Verification Testing phase.

The component carries a manufacture date of March 3, 2011. That indicates the prototype is older than the "EVT2" handset that was pictured last week, which carried a manufacture date of June 7, 2011.

Both the components from last week, which featured a back panel, and this week, with the front LCD, show a design unchanged from the current iPhone 4. Reports have been conflicted as to whether Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will look similar to the iPhone 4, or if it will feature a new design.

Some speculation has suggested Apple will update the iPhone 4 to a model dubbed the iPhone 4S. The new hardware could serve as an entry-level model, much like the 8GB iPhone 3GS sells alongside the current iPhone 4.



However, one report last week from Reuters cited anonymous sources who indicated a fifth-generation iPhone will have a design largely identical to the current iPhone 4. Those sources reportedly said the handset will have a slightly bigger touchscreen, along with a better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera.

Further confusing matters, a number of third-party cases have appeared in China showing a fifth-generation iPhone with a new design. Those cases show a handset with angled sides and a flat back, similar to the structure of the iPad 2.

Seems plenty of members here want a bigger screen with the same resolution of 960x640? Because iOS 5 beta 6 is out and there has been no information at all pertaining to higher resolution for iPod Touch/iPhone devices. And the developers that iOS (Apple) craves so much are right now updating their apps for 960x640 resolution. Seriously will 3.7" make that much of a difference from 3.5" to those of you who want a bigger screen?

Why not just get an iPad? I remember Steve saying the 5" - 7" devices were tweener devices that would fade in time. Doesn't sound like Steve thinks a bigger screen is needed for the iPod/iPhone line. That is what the iPad is for and I think the current iPhone is the perfect size for a mobile media player and phone. If I want something bigger for mobile use I'd get an iPad personally.
post #39 of 88
Apple knows that a considerable chunk of people upgrade purely for the new aesthetic. The current form factor is and always was a bore. A year and a half later -- barring some issue with pure physics -- there is no way the design will remain as-is.
post #40 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangcookie View Post

Apple knows that a considerable chunk of people upgrade purely for the new aesthetic. The current form factor is and always was a bore. A year and a half later -- barring some issue with pure physics -- there is no way the design will remain as-is.

1) Such a bore that after 5 quarters it's the best selling iPhone ever.

2) You're not buying it yet the iPhone 3GS sold much better than the iPhone 3G. You and the_peripheral should think before reply.


PS: Whatever happened to the iPhone 4 design being a commercial and technical failure that they'd all be recalled and new model released by Septemeber 2010?
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