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Purported Apple iPhone 5 cases again suggest hardware redesign

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
More third-party cases from the Far East claimed to have been designed to fit Apple's still-unannounced fifth-generation iPhone again show a thinner device with a flat back and curved sides.

The new cases are available from Shenzhen L&Y Technology Co., Ltd., based in Guandong in mainland China. Available in a number of designs and colors, they again suggest that Apple is planning a redesign for its anticipated fifth-generation iPhone.

Like third-party cases that began to crop up in China in July, the latest designs appear to show a mute switch that has been moved to the right side of the device. On the iPhone 4 and all previous versions of Apple's smartphone, the mute switch has been located on the left side, above the volume buttons.

The cases also show curved sides on the iPhone, in a design much like the iPad 2. Those sides level off to a flat back that can be stable when placed on a table.

The new cases also show volume buttons that are more akin to those on the iPhone 3GS and its predecessors with an elongated shape. On the iPhone 4, Apple adopted metal, circular volume buttons, while the longer buttons remained on last year's fourth-generation iPod touch.

In fact, the alleged design of the new iPhone has many traits in common with last year's iPod touch, including the volume buttons and curved sides. But the new cases also clearly show a headphone jack on top, as well as the moved mute switch, which are features currently only found on the iPhone, as well as the iPad.



The cases stand in contrast to numerous reports which have indicated the next iPhone will closely resemble the currently available iPhone 4. In addition, a number of leaked components have shown a next-generation handset with the same size and shape as the iPhone 4.



But still other rumors have suggested the next iPhone will be a "major redesign," lending support to the cases that have proliferated in China. That has led to some speculation that the other, iPhone 4-like components might be for a new low-end iPhone 4 intended to replace the iPhone 3GS, which sells for $49 with a new two-year service contract.
post #2 of 63
Bored with iPhone 5 rumors so now on to the cases.

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post #3 of 63
How do we know this case isn't destined for a future iPod Touch instead?

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post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

How do we know this case isn't destined for a future iPod Touch instead?

As in the iPod touch 3G? Maybe it's time to promote the iPod touch. To give it built-in 3G like the 3G iPad models, but to add the option to put in a GSM SIM card (or to activate it on CDMA networks.) Users could choose between data-only 3G or data + voice.

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post #5 of 63
I still maintain my theory:

iPhone 4 and 3GS will be discontinued. Apple would make too much off of the $99 iPhone over the next year and for that price point, they can give it some more balls. The $99 iPhone will be an iPhone 4S.

The new top of the line iPhone will be a redesigned iPhone 5. iPhone 5's larger screen will match up proportionally with the 2012 iPad which will be of higher resolution but the same screen size.

Since Lion launched, Apple will want to give consumers a new hardware refresh on most of their product lines to go with their great software.

iPod gets updated, but what could you really do? Add 3G as an option, like it is with an iPad. They won't want to diminish the iPhone 5 design by applying it to the iPod just yet, so look for the iPod to resemble what it currently is, but along the lines of the iPhone 4S.
post #6 of 63
Maybe Apple is planning a multi-model iPhone / iPod touch lineup:

iPhone 5: rounded edges, 3.7" screen, A5 SoC.

iPhone 4: same as the 2010 model, but priced $100 less. *

iPhone 4S: iPhone 4 modified for the Chinese market. **

iPod touch 3G: built-in 3G data, optional SIM card or CDMA activation to add voice calling.

- -- -- -- -

* Maybe Apple could update the iPhone 4 to be a GSM + CDMA "world phone." This would mean only one production line for AT&T / VZW / etc. iPhone 4.

** Pegatron's 15% share of iPhone production could be devoted entirely to China-market iPhone 4.

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post #7 of 63
Quit posting cases obviously made for the iPod Touch and claiming they're for the iPhone 5.

Feels like AI is just trying to drive more clicks and traffic by labeling it as iPhone 5 related.
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

As in the iPod touch 3G? Maybe it's time to promote the iPod touch. To give it built-in 3G like the 3G iPad models, but to add the option to put in a GSM SIM card (or to activate it on CDMA networks.) Users could choose between data-only 3G or data + voice.

This would be great. Integrating the iPod Touch and the iPhone into one product line and then giving people an option of whether they want to sign a 2-year agreement to reduce the cost (if they choose a 3G capable device) would give Apple an insane amount of profit. Cell providers might not like it, but I don't think anyone would shed a tear for them. The only thing that confuses me is how the price difference between an 8GB iPod Touch and 16GB iPhone 4 is about $400, while the difference in price between an iPad 2 and 2 3G is only $169.
post #9 of 63
"On the iPhone 5, Apple adopted metal, circular volume buttons, while the longer buttons remained on last year's fourth-generation iPod touch."

That sentence should say iPhone 4. The iPhone 5 is not out yet.

"But the new cases also clearly show a headphone jack on top, as well as the moved mute switch, which are features currently only found on the iPhone, as well as the iPad."

It seems to me that the volume buttons have been moved to the right side of the phone vs. the mute switch being moved if these cases are to be believed. Unless I'm mistaken, on all current iPhones, the volume buttons are on the left side of the phone.
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

More third-party cases from the Far East claimed to have been designed to fit Apple's still-unannounced fifth-generation iPhone again show a thinner device with a flat back and curved sides. ...

Still not buying it.

And by that I mean I'm not buying the rumour and I'm also not buying the phone if it turns out to be true. Who wants to put a mini-iPad up to their ear?

IMO if this is the new iPhone, Apple is making a tragic error.
post #11 of 63
It would certainly make sense for Apple to align the Touch more closely with the iPad, using design cues to clearly position it as a small tablet. A slightly larger device with a slightly larger screen (say 4") helps sell that idea as well. If they add 3G connectivity with the same data plan options as the iPad, well, there you go.

Given the acknowledged similarities between the existing Touch and the design of these cases that really does seem like the more likely scenario, with the iPhone 5 sticking to the rumored slight variant on the 4-- none of which detracts from the possibility that an upgraded 4 becomes the new entry level inexpensive model.

By keeping the 4 and 5 aligned physically, with the improvements largely under the hood (although allowing for a slightly larger screen on the 5 as well) Apple would have a true "better/best" lineup (more like getting a Powerbook Pro with more RAM or a bigger HD or an upgraded processor than the current "you can buy the obviously older model for less if you which" deal).
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post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Still not buying it.

And by that I mean I'm not buying the rumour and I'm also not buying the phone if it turns out to be true. Who wants to put a mini-iPad up to their ear?

Represent!

Particularly if the screen's 4" in addition to this.

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post #13 of 63
I could see the current 3.5" Touch and iPhone along with a new 4" Touch and iPhone. The Touch with cellular chips and the iPhone with true "world mode" chips.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

How do we know this case isn't destined for a future iPod Touch instead?

Or a Samsung device.
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post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Or a Samsung device.

LOL !

Although the Samsung market seems to be shrinking -- maybe it is for the new Galaxy Tab 4.0? Or would that just be another copy (of the iPod Touch)? I guess not if the include data only 3G.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Or a Samsung device.

Damn you! I just spit coffee on my desk!
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberfoto View Post

Quit posting cases obviously made for the iPod Touch and claiming they're for the iPhone 5.

Feels like AI is just trying to drive more clicks and traffic by labeling it as iPhone 5 related.

The iPod Touch does not have a headphone jack on top (the Touch's is on the bottom).

The iPod Touch does not have a silent switch. These cases have switch on the right hand side. (If I'm not mistaken, only the iPad has a right-hand switch).

These cases show symmetrical speaker holes on either side of the 30-pin connector. The iPod Touch only has one speaker on the left, with a headphone jack on the right.

I'm not saying that anybody knows for sure what the next-gen iPhone will look like. But to say that AI is simply peddling iPod Touch cases is pretty off...
post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Or a Samsung device.

it would fit the Samsung, by amazing coincidence.

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post #18 of 63
I strongly believe these are for the new iPod touch.
post #19 of 63
My take is this:

The "iPhone 4S" is actually going to be a world mode iPhone 4, and they will discontinue the current GSM and CDMA only models. It will also only be available as a 16GB model. This simplification will allow them to drop the costs and simplify the logistics associated with supply and distribution, allowing them to drop the price, and use it as the entry level iPhone.

The "iPhone 5" represented by the cases is the new model iPhone. It will be available in 32GB or 64GB sizes, and take major design cues from the iPad 2.

The major reason I believe these cases do in fact represent an iPhone and not an iPod Touch is the slight wedge shape. That shape would only be used with the intention that people will be holding it up to their ears to talk on it. There is no logical reason to have that kind of tapering on an iPod Touch.

As Apple have announced that the iPhone 3GS will support iOS 5, it can be taken as a strong possibility that they will continue to manufacture this as the base entry level iPhone and use the new world mode iPhone 4 as a mid-range option.

Question to the gallery: Why would Apple give the iPod Touch 3G capability? If they did that, it would have the same internals as an iPhone - it essentially would BE just another iPhone model. The iPad is a different form factor, so it makes sense to have data only 3G options there. An iPhone IS an iPod Touch with 3G. Admittedly you can't get data only plans on it - oh wait, you can, you just have to buy it unlocked out of contract - then you can buy whatever plan you like with it! I'm not trying to be difficult, but I honestly don't see the business sense, from Apple's perspective, in providing a 3G Touch. Nor do I see the logic in wanting to buy one...
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post #20 of 63
I'm guessing I'll be disappointed now, but I was rather hoping the iPhone 5 would be in the same form factor as the iPhone 4, but maybe a bit thinner.

I don't like a curved back at all. It makes the device hard to hold. The best thing about the iPhone 4 is that it's easy to pick up and hold, and without causing accidental input on the touch screen.
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

I strongly believe these are for the new iPod touch.

I do not vouch for the accuracy of the paper inserts in the cases, but did anyone notice the phone and iPod icons at the bottom? Yes, the SMS icon is totally off but yea..
post #22 of 63
Who knows what these cases are for, but I just can't see them going back to the 3GS design with all its curves. They were so proud of the physical design of the iPhone 4. It was completely new and compared to some finely crafted camera (or something like that). Even if they decided to tweak the antennae design, I'd think they would keep the same squared off, edge to edge glass, metal band, round buttons.....design.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyopicPaideia View Post

Question to the gallery: Why would Apple give the iPod Touch 3G capability?

iCloud

Quote:
If they did that, it would have the same internals as an iPhone - it essentially would BE just another iPhone model.

I don't think so. My guess is that it would have 3G data, but no 3G voice capability. I believe there is a difference in the radio, but I'm not sure.

Quote:
The iPad is a different form factor, so it makes sense to have data only 3G options there. An iPhone IS an iPod Touch with 3G. Admittedly you can't get data only plans on it - oh wait, you can, you just have to buy it unlocked out of contract - then you can buy whatever plan you like with it!

I don't think you can do this. I think the providers have been pretty firm about dongle-ing data and voice plans together if you want to use a smart phone on their network (at least in the USA, anyway). Not really fair in my opinion.

Quote:
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I honestly don't see the business sense, from Apple's perspective, in providing a 3G Touch. Nor do I see the logic in wanting to buy one...

I pretty much agree with you if it remains the same size. I could see it if the if the display were 5 inches.
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I could see the current 3.5" Touch and iPhone along with a new 4" Touch and iPhone. The Touch with cellular chips and the iPhone with true "world mode" chips.




Or a Samsung device.





Microsoft

Google

Adobe

Samsung

next?

post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

I don't think so. My guess is that it would have 3G data, but no 3G voice capability. I believe there is a difference in the radio, but I'm not sure.

Uh so they'll just use VoIP for phone calls.

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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyopicPaideia View Post

... The major reason I believe these cases do in fact represent an iPhone and not an iPod Touch is the slight wedge shape. That shape would only be used with the intention that people will be holding it up to their ears to talk on it. There is no logical reason to have that kind of tapering on an iPod Touch. ...

Just to play devil's advocate ... typing.

Specifically thumb typing on the slightly larger screen would be improved by being thinner at the bottom. Also, the difference between the top and the bottom is very, very, small so it might not have to have a reason at all.

Just to keep it interesting, I've thought of another reason why it doesn't make much sense for this to be the new iPhone 5 design. The antenna.

For this to be the new iPhone 5, the antenna would have had to be completely redesigned even from the CDMA/GSM hybrid design they only recently debuted with the Verizon phone. This redesigned antenna would have to be better than the current antenna (one of the best currently available or by some accounts *the* best currently available), for it to be worthwhile changing the design.

If all those parts leaks are not bogus (and we have no reason to think they are), there is also a version of the iPhone (5, 4s, whatever), coming out very soon that will keep the same design as the iPhone 4 antenna. So these two types of antennas will be on sale side by side for comparison.

If the older iPHone 4 antenna design is so bad, why keep it on sale? If the new one is so good, why keep the old one on sale beside it to show how crappy the old one supposedly is?
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

iCloud



I don't think so. My guess is that it would have 3G data, but no 3G voice capability. I believe there is a difference in the radio, but I'm not sure.



I don't think you can do this. I think the providers have been pretty firm about dongle-ing data and voice plans together if you want to use a smart phone on their network (at least in the USA, anyway). Not really fair in my opinion.



I pretty much agree with you if it remains the same size. I could see it if the if the display were 5 inches.

iCloud is actually a good reason - I concede that point to you. Are you saying that in the US, you can't walk in to AT&T and say you want to buy a Data plan with a SIM Card, and not have your device with you? Theoretically, could you not put a SIM from anything into an iPad for example and it would work as long as you have a data plan of some kind on that SIM? Hmm, haven't lived in the US for three years now (am an American, born and raised) but here in Sweden I can walk into any carrier and buy a SIM card with whatever plan I want, and then I can use that SIM on whatever device I want, swap it out between devices, etc.
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post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Uh so they'll just use VoIP for phone calls.

Yeah? So?
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Still not buying it.

And by that I mean I'm not buying the rumour and I'm also not buying the phone if it turns out to be true. Who wants to put a mini-iPad up to their ear?

IMO if this is the new iPhone, Apple is making a tragic error.

Making an iPhone that is slightly bigger than the current one would be a tragic error? It's hard to take you seriously with a comment like that.

Like many of the others I think these cases may be for the upcoming iPod touch revision (possibly even re-named).

There is another possible explanation. China is home to Apple's manufacturing. China is also home to dozens of fake Apple stores and hundreds of manufacturers of counterfeit products who operate with impunity by providing jobs and probably bribes to government officials. The cases could be for the soon-to-be-released iPhone 5C, the fake Chinese version.

Someone in China with good connections could probably manufacture and sell 1 million counterfeit iPhones per month and there'd be little anyone in the USA could do about it.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyopicPaideia View Post

iCloud is actually a good reason - I concede that point to you. Are you saying that in the US, you can't walk in to AT&T and say you want to buy a Data plan with a SIM Card, and not have your device with you? Theoretically, could you not put a SIM from anything into an iPad for example and it would work as long as you have a data plan of some kind on that SIM? Hmm, haven't lived in the US for three years now (am an American, born and raised) but here in Sweden I can walk into any carrier and buy a SIM card with whatever plan I want, and then I can use that SIM on whatever device I want, swap it out between devices, etc.

I had a friend a couple of years ago who was using an iPhone with voice-only. They somehow detected that his device was an iPhone and forced him to buy a data plan in order to use the iPhone on the network. I read on a forum just the other day (it may have been AI) that someone was forced to buy the minimum voice plan in order to get a data plan for the iPhone. Both of these were with AT&T. I don't know if these experiences are commonplace, but I do seem to remember AT&T announcing they would require a data plan in order to use a smartphone on the network.

As far as switching out SIMs, I don't know. I haven't heard anybody bragging about doing it. We only have two, non-compatible network options for iPhone providers here.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Just to play devil's advocate ... typing.

Specifically thumb typing on the slightly larger screen would be improved by being thinner at the bottom. Also, the difference between the top and the bottom is very, very, small so it might not have to have a reason at all.

Just to keep it interesting, I've thought of another reason why it doesn't make much sense for this to be the new iPhone 5 design. The antenna

Fair enough with typing, and I assume you mean so that the thumbs can reach more comfortably with the thinner profile at the bottom. However, with the screen size we're talking abour here, I don't see there being any benefit - especially since iOS 5 has that nifty split keyboard option. I do admit it would a very Apple-esque attention to detail design touch though.

As to the antenna, I would assume the supposed iPhone 5 would have the same concept design as the 3G iPads, with a wide black plastic band at the top of the device, as well as a large Apple logo in the same material. They would keep the iPhone 4 design around because #1, they don't feel it was bad at all, and #2, they feel they have improved on its design with the tweaking they have done to it.
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post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

I had a friend a couple of years ago who was using an iPhone with voice-only. They somehow detected that his device was an iPhone and forced him to buy a data plan in order to use the iPhone on the network. I read on a forum just the other day (it may have been AI) that someone was forced to buy the minimum voice plan in order to get a data plan for the iPhone. Both of these were with AT&T. I don't know if these experiences are commonplace, but I do seem to remember AT&T announcing they would require a data plan in order to use a smartphone on the network.

As far as switching out SIMs, I don't know. I haven't heard anybody bragging about doing it. We only have two, non-compatible network options for iPhone providers here.

Wow that blows...excuse my language...but then a world mode iPhone with 4 carriers to choose from sounds like the best thing that could happen to you! With AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all forced to compete for iPhone customers, surely one will decide to break from the oligarchy collusion and offer better service options and freedom regarding plan selection, and force the others to react...
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post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyopicPaideia View Post

Wow that blows...excuse my language...but then a world mode iPhone with 4 carriers to choose from sounds like the best thing that could happen to you! With AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all forced to compete for iPhone customers, surely one will decide to break from the oligarchy colusion and offer better service options and freedom regarding plan selection, and force the others to react...

Yep. Fingers crossed.
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberfoto View Post

Quit posting cases obviously made for the iPod Touch and claiming they're for the iPhone 5.

Feels like AI is just trying to drive more clicks and traffic by labeling it as iPhone 5 related.

I agree. These 'case redesigns' are clearly iPod Touch because of their thinness alone. There's no way they would make that design mistake on the iPhone when a phone should be thick enough to hold on the edges.
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Making an iPhone that is slightly bigger than the current one would be a tragic error? It's hard to take you seriously with a comment like that....

No, I meant making an iPhone 5 that looks like a mini iPad with the curved aluminium back and the bigger screen etc. would be a tragic error.

If you look into the numbers, there really aren't that many people at all who would like the bigger screen or are asking for it. It's primarily a USA-only phenomenon. The iPhone 4 design is one of the best ever, with an award winning antenna design that performs better than most if not all competitors. More importantly, it's one of the most popular designs for a phone ever.

To replace it the very next year by going essentially *backwards* to the old design, while simultaneously bowing to public pressure to make a bigger screen would indeed be tragic.

A smartphone is also a luxury item and people buy it for reasons of status and style as much as for more functional reasons. The iPhone 4 design is classy and sophisticated. The iPad is more functional and so will this be. No Fortune 500 business dude is going to replace their steel and glass beauty with some clunky aluminium mini iPad with a black bar on the back for the antenna.

If this is the new iPhone 5 design I predict at least some major kickback from the consumers. It's not really what most people seem to want. On the other hand it would be the coolest iPod touch ever.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberfoto View Post

Quit posting cases obviously made for the iPod Touch and claiming they're for the iPhone 5.

How do you explain the opening for the silent ringer switch if its not a iPhone, or the iPhone-like positioning of the head phones or the obvious iPhone-like microphone and speaker setup at the bottom.

If this is not an iPhone 5, boy Apple is going to release one of a bombshell iPod upgrade
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lantinian View Post

How do you explain the opening for the silent ringer switch if its not a iPhone, or the iPhone-like positioning of the head phones or the obvious iPhone-like microphone and speaker setup at the bottom.

If this is not an iPhone 5, boy Apple is going to release one of a bombshell iPod upgrade

If Apple foolishly designed by committee that would be to switch between iOS and Mac OS UIs.
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post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If Apple foolishly designed by committee that would be to switch between iOS and Mac OS UIs.

Or Boot Camp for iPhone...

Maybe a click-wheel for iOS, Android, WP7, WebOS, BlackBerry...
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyopicPaideia View Post

My take is this:

The "iPhone 4S" is actually going to be a world mode iPhone 4, and they will discontinue the current GSM and CDMA only models. It will also only be available as a 16GB model. This simplification will allow them to drop the costs and simplify the logistics associated with supply and distribution, allowing them to drop the price, and use it as the entry level iPhone.

The "iPhone 5" represented by the cases is the new model iPhone. It will be available in 32GB or 64GB sizes, and take major design cues from the iPad 2.

The major reason I believe these cases do in fact represent an iPhone and not an iPod Touch is the slight wedge shape. That shape would only be used with the intention that people will be holding it up to their ears to talk on it. There is no logical reason to have that kind of tapering on an iPod Touch.

As Apple have announced that the iPhone 3GS will support iOS 5, it can be taken as a strong possibility that they will continue to manufacture this as the base entry level iPhone and use the new world mode iPhone 4 as a mid-range option.

Question to the gallery: Why would Apple give the iPod Touch 3G capability? If they did that, it would have the same internals as an iPhone - it essentially would BE just another iPhone model. The iPad is a different form factor, so it makes sense to have data only 3G options there. An iPhone IS an iPod Touch with 3G. Admittedly you can't get data only plans on it - oh wait, you can, you just have to buy it unlocked out of contract - then you can buy whatever plan you like with it! I'm not trying to be difficult, but I honestly don't see the business sense, from Apple's perspective, in providing a 3G Touch. Nor do I see the logic in wanting to buy one...


i agree mostly but I think with iCloud coming they should make the 4s 8gb. Then make the iphone 5 16gb and 32gb. As for the ipod touch...leave the 3g off and give it a bigger screen...for gaming, productivity etc
post #40 of 63
So much time has gone by since OS 5 features were discussed at Apples last event, I have forgotten what they were. How much longer before there is a new phone?

I think Apple risks losing customer's interest by waiting so long for new iPhones and the new OS.
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