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High-quality images compare alleged next-gen iPhone, iPhone 4S front assemblies

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
A video and accompanying high-resolution photos of the purported next-generation iPhone's front assembly hit the web on Thursday, adding to to the mountain of rumors and leaks regarding Apple's hotly-anticipated handset.

The images, from Shenzhen-based cell phone parts company SINOCET (via nowhereelse.fr), allegedly show the front plate assembly bound for Apple's sixth-generation iPhone expected to hit shelves on Sept. 21.

Photos of the purported next-gen part were previously "leaked" earlier this month, however the new video and pictures include a side-by-side comparison with a front panel taken off a current iPhone 4S.

The validity of the images cannot be confirmed, but they appear to be in line with the multitude of reports coming from various sources. Most recently a video of the purported next-generation iPhone's flex cables hinted at the possible relocation of the unit's headphone jack, front-facing camera and proximity sensor, a move first seen in early shots of the handset's uni-body chassis.


Source: SINOCET via YouTube


As in another set of previously reported images, an unidentified chip can be seen toward the top of the display near the earpiece. It was speculated that the mysterious component was an NFC chip, however that rumor was brought into question upon closer examination.

Front Panel Chip
Close-up of unknown chip once thought to be an NFC module. | Source: SINOCET


Apple is widely thought to be increasing the iPhone's screen size to 4-inches, up from the current 3.5-inch form factor seen on all iPhones since the first model launched in 2007. The company has been content to stick with the smaller display amidst the sea of ever-growing screens seen on rival Android devices like Samsung's Galaxy S III. Despite its apparent hesitation to enlarge the iPhone's screen, thereby changing its form factor, Apple has increased the device's resolution over the years, the most recent jump being the high-resolution Retina display seen on 2010's iPhone 4.

Front Panel
Source: SINOCET


The rumored next-gen iPhone is also expected to employ a down-sized dock connector, possibly signaling a move away from the 30-pin version first introduced in Apple's iPod product line. Photos of the alleged new 9-pin design have been making the rounds, with a supposedly complete cable pictured last week.

Front Panel Side View


Apple is said to be keeping the handset's weight down by employing in-cell touchscreen technology that integrates a display's touch-sensing elements with the LCD array. At least three separate companies are reported to be manufacturing the component including LG, which announced last week that production of in-cell screens had started but fell short of mentioning where the parts were going.

Front Panel Comparison


Apple is expected to debut the new iPhone on Sept. 12, with pre-orders set to begin that same day ahead of a Sept. 21 U.S. launch.
post #2 of 55
I think that is an NFC chip and Apple is trying to turn the rumor mill in the wrong direction weeks before the event.
post #3 of 55

An iPhone 4SL

post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I think that is an NFC chip and Apple is trying to turn the rumor mill in the wrong direction weeks before the event.


no, i'm pretty sure that's a particle accelerator.

post #5 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

An iPhone 4SL


iPhone 4sDX

post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

An iPhone 4SL

No.   An iPhone 40 Long!  I have a similar sized suit.

/

/

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post #7 of 55

So the iphone 5 is a 4S with a bigger screen. Disappointed big time. Yes I'll still buy it, but what a let down.

post #8 of 55

So is everyone 100% bought into these being real?  Just a thought that Apple might leak real looking parts out there to put focus away from the real phone.

 

I always loved it when we had no real idea what was coming...  all this is spoiling the fun!
 

Edit: I mean another thought is that nfc chip that is an unknown antenna/part.  It could just be fake?

post #9 of 55

iPhone 4GS

 

4G = LTE

GS = good-sized screen? ><  

 

or simply the new iPhone

post #10 of 55

I'm sure it has the usual CPU/GPU and memory updates, but the bigger screen without making a (drastically) bigger phone would be very nice indeed… I hate the Galaxy Note with a passion, but a slightly larger screen without making the phone larger would be a welcome change. :)

post #11 of 55

It's hard to tell, because this guy in the video keeps turning the screen on the inside face, but it looks like the home button is getting significantly smaller?  anyone confirm this?  A bit jarring since I thought the home button was already just about as small as it should ever get.

 

I agree this new design is a big disappointment for me.  I was hoping for something that doesn't look anything like the previous model.  Still think they should revisit the elliptical shape from the 3GS, but I know that would add width to the design, however the iPod Touch has something like it already it's way more comfortable to hold than the current iPhones.

 

Luckily, I have and iPhone 4 and don't really have any reason to upgrade at least until this model is no longer supported by iOS updates.

 

And what was up with the music in that video?


Edited by antkm1 - 8/30/12 at 5:09am
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by makingdots View Post

iPhone 4GS

 

4G = LTE

GS = good-sized screen? ><  

 

or simply the new iPhone

Wouldn't that be iPhone 4GSS ;) 

 

My bet is the new iPhone.

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post #13 of 55

Wow. The inside of the iPhone 4S looks so much more cleanly designed and elegant compared to the new part. It's shiny, simple, and beautifully laid out - compared to the "iPhone 5" part which is haphazard and cheap looking. It reminds me of the sort of functional, yet uninspiring designs that Samsung churn out every 3 months.

 

Obviously the design influence of Steve Jobs is waning. In a few years, if this trend continues Apple will be just be another large uncaring electronics company churning out inelegant cash-cow junkPhones. I think that is very sad.

post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Wouldn't that be iPhone 4GSS ;) 

 

My bet is the new iPhone.

 

The 'iPhone' moniker is getting so tired and stale. Apple should call their new phones something else. Maybe xPhone or tPhone. Or "Universe S".

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

 

The 'iPhone' moniker is getting so tired and stale. Apple should call their new phones something else. Maybe xPhone or tPhone. Or "Universe S".

That "tired" moniker is probably the most successful single product in history.  I highly doubt Apple as any intention of changing it.  That would be illogical and a horrible marketing strategy.

post #16 of 55

Two thoughts: 1) The parts could be something in the supply chain for a Chinese knock-off. Not necessarily Apple parts. 2)  This screen will be much easier to replace than the screen of the iPhone 4/4S.  To replace the 4 screen, you have to completely disassemble the phone - taking out nearly everything including the logic board.  This one will be like the 3/3GS, in that you only need to remove 2 screws and lift it (and carefully detach cables.).

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

Wow. The inside of the iPhone 4S looks so much more cleanly designed and elegant compared to the new part. It's shiny, simple, and beautifully laid out - compared to the "iPhone 5" part which is haphazard and cheap looking. It reminds me of the sort of functional, yet uninspiring designs that Samsung churn out every 3 months.

Obviously the design influence of Steve Jobs is waning. In a few years, if this trend continues Apple will be just be another large uncaring electronics company churning out inelegant cash-cow junkPhones. I think that is very sad.

I also feel like Apple is not the same as it was 18 months ago. Frankly, I'm not sure yey whether it's for the worse or the better but anyway, it's clear that Apple is not as lean anymore as it used to be. Growing a bit concerned as I invested a lot in the ecosystem ans what used to be simple isn't really anymore (with iCloud being a real pain)
post #18 of 55
Looking forward to voice navigation, and the somewhat bigger screen, even if it's only in one direction :\ The new beta maps are blazing fast on LTE as well as browsing overall. Really hope the new phone offers the same. Can't get excited about a bunch of component pictures though. We already know what the outside looks like for the most part, and the internals are of no interest to me.
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post #19 of 55

Haven't we been seeing this same part for the last month now

post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I think that is an NFC chip and Apple is trying to turn the rumor mill in the wrong direction weeks before the event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

So is everyone 100% bought into these being real?  Just a thought that Apple might leak real looking parts out there to put focus away from the real phone.

I always loved it when we had no real idea what was coming...  all this is spoiling the fun!

 
Edit: I mean another thought is that nfc chip that is an unknown antenna/part.  It could just be fake?

AnandTech expressed thoughts on that. I tend to agree with them. Its placement make it better suited as a sheild for the in-cell display electronics, not for NFC>


Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

It's hard to tell, because this guy in the video keeps turning the screen on the inside face, but it looks like the home button is getting significantly smaller?  anyone confirm this?  A bit jarring since I thought the home button was already just about as small as it should ever get.

As we've seen for months the forehead and chin are smaller to accommodate the larger display without increasing in length as much as display size has, so the home button has gotten a little smaller.
Quote:
I agree this new design is a big disappointment for me.  I was hoping for something that doesn't look anything like the previous model.  Still think they should revisit the elliptical shape from the 3GS, but I know that would add width to the design, however the iPod Touch has something like it already it's way more comfortable to hold than the current iPhones.

Different in what way? A hexagonal display? A non-flat display? A home button that is at the top? From an engineering standpoint this is looking like their biggest YoY change yet so how can you claim it's not different from the current model?

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post #21 of 55
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Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post


I also feel like Apple is not the same as it was 18 months ago. Frankly, I'm not sure yey whether it's for the worse or the better but anyway, it's clear that Apple is not as lean anymore as it used to be. Growing a bit concerned as I invested a lot in the ecosystem ans what used to be simple isn't really anymore (with iCloud being a real pain)

Although this conversation is a bit off the topic of the post, I agree with you.  SJ as always the overall voice of reason at Apple, or at least it sure seemed that way.  He was the one to put the hammer down when something wasn't living up to the Apple standard.  People constantly state that Apple is primarily a hardware company.  I sort of reject that notion.  They're a company selling a brand or a lifestyle.   If one or more of those pieces of the "ecosystem" isn't working they need to fix it.  My greatest fear is that it appears the software end of the ecosystem is slowly marginalizing itself to the 3rd party world and that is really the biggest problem I see.  They keep making new solutions from the software end, but don't bother to fix or improve the aspects that aren't yet perfected.  Who is going to be that voice of reason now?  I don't even think Apple has answered that question for themselves yet.

post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


AnandTech expressed thoughts on that. I tend to agree with them. Its placement make it better suited as a sheild for the in-cell display electronics, not for NFC>
As we've seen for months the forehead and chin are smaller to accommodate the larger display without increasing in length as much as display size has, so the home button has gotten a little smaller.
Different in what way? A hexagonal display? A non-flat display? A home button that is at the top? From an engineering standpoint this is looking like their biggest YoY change yet so how can you claim it's not different from the current model?

obviously the front display can't really get much different.  I was referring more to the leaked photos of the "uni-body" design.  It's just too close to the current models to really be considered a completely new design.  And (IMO) it's just not as comfortable to hold as the curved bodies.  They look pretty but just not as ergonomic.  As for looking too much like the iP4(S)...it's still a flat slab with radius corners, the antenna design is maintained from the iP4(s)...button design largely the same.  So IMO, it's really just a taller iPhone 4 series model.

post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

SJ as always the overall voice of reason at Apple, or at least it sure seemed that way.  He was the one to put the hammer down when something wasn't living up to the Apple standard.  Who is going to be that voice of reason now?  I don't even think Apple has answered that question for themselves yet.

 

Enough SJ worship! Remember that under SJ's watch PING was introduced, and he proudly introduced it himself during a Keynote. Do you reckon PING reflects the 'Apple standard'? Come on, could there be a bigger FAIL than PING? 

 
 
 
 
 
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

obviously the front display can't really get much different.  I was referring more to the leaked photos of the "uni-body" design.  It's just too close to the current models to really be considered a completely new design.  And (IMO) it's just not as comfortable to hold as the curved bodies.  They look pretty but just not as ergonomic.  As for looking too much like the iP4(S)...it's still a flat slab with radius corners, the antenna design is maintained from the iP4(s)...button design largely the same.  So IMO, it's really just a taller iPhone 4 series model.

One used a metal rim with glass sandwiched on the front and back with glass for over 2 years and this new one has a mostly metal back with most of the sides being part of the back place creating an entirely new shell. In no way are the engineerings effort close or not much different. The only thing you're considering is the shape, not the design of the phone. Yes, it still has mostly flat sides instead of them being rounded but that, in no way, in this Universe, means it's the same design.

Antenna design mostly the same? So they should put the antenna back on the side thus using more internal space and making it less effective?

Button design mostly the same? What do offer as an alternative? Making them a shape and putting them in a location that is less functional for the user?

I think you've missed the point of what progress is. It's moving forward which doesn't always mean starting from scratch but making something you're currently using even better. There is a reason the wheel is still round after all these tens-of-thousands of years and not because of lazy engineers.

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post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamh View Post

Two thoughts: 1) The parts could be something in the supply chain for a Chinese knock-off. Not necessarily Apple parts. 2)  This screen will be much easier to replace than the screen of the iPhone 4/4S.  To replace the 4 screen, you have to completely disassemble the phone - taking out nearly everything including the logic board.  This one will be like the 3/3GS, in that you only need to remove 2 screws and lift it (and carefully detach cables.).

1) It's doubtful it's fake. We've seen these sorts of leaks for about 4 years now. There are just too many companies outside Apple, too many people, and too many components to be made for Apple to feasibly secure every single part that is made. Remember, it only takes just one part to be misplaced, improperly disposed of or stolen for us to know all about it.

2) Yes, the front access to the display should make it a lot easier to replace. It's one of the things I picked up on months ago and no one else seems to care. I feel vindicated now that someone else has noticed. I do wonder about the top and bottom of the back. That looks to be glass. It'll be harder to break and certainly won't be an issue for most if you do but it does look like it might be a pain to replace if you should need to. I also wonder about dirt getting into it with such an expansive border that doesn't look as easy to keep sealed like with the current design.

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post #26 of 55

I'd be happy if Apple calls it "the iPhone". Just like "the iPad". I've had enough of this iPhone "5" nonsense …

post #27 of 55

Maybe the new chip is an ANT+ receiver. How cool would that be?

post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

I also feel like Apple is not the same as it was 18 months ago. Frankly, I'm not sure yey whether it's for the worse or the better but anyway, it's clear that Apple is not as lean anymore as it used to be. Growing a bit concerned as I invested a lot in the ecosystem ans what used to be simple isn't really anymore (with iCloud being a real pain)

This post makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but ok.

Not as lean? Apple is more lean now than its been in its entire history. iCloud? Easily the best thing to happen to iOS since it was 1st released. You're really reaching. I often wonder if some have a strange desire to desperately make shit up and find 'something wrong' with Apple post SJ, to the point of not even being able to specifically point anything out, only that they're very 'concerned. There's been absolutely no cause for concern. Also, it must have slipped your mind that SJ revealed iCloud himself. It's not a post SJ thing, and he was extremely proud of it.
post #29 of 55

I wish apple would go back to secrecy. The rumor mill is so boring now days. We know exactly what we're getting before we get it. I just want TASTES, not the whole enchilada shoveled in my mouth!

 

 

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post #30 of 55

It's good to see that I'm not the only one who can't apply a screen protector without a million bubbles.  ;-)

post #31 of 55

Still not convinced that this is real.

 

I don't think AI has reported that the originator of these leaked parts iLabFactory also received the CAD data blueprints.

 

 

 

Leaked parts is one thing - but leaked blueprints ?

 

However, someone who had blueprints AND access to a 3d printer / machine fabrication tools, could easily mock parts using this data.

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post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Different in what way? A hexagonal display? A non-flat display? A home button that is at the top? From an engineering standpoint this is looking like their biggest YoY change yet so how can you claim it's not different from the current model?

I think he just wants the curved back design of 3GS back.

post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

 

Enough SJ worship! Remember that under SJ's watch PING was introduced, and he proudly introduced it himself during a Keynote. Do you reckon PING reflects the 'Apple standard'? Come on, could there be a bigger FAIL than PING? 

 
 
 
 
 

Yeah, he praised Mobile Me too and was the first one to tell them all that it sucked and it failed to live up to Apple standards.  Read the Bio.

post #34 of 55

 I was going to reply to 3 or 4 separate people that were saying "This is the same design as last year, disappointed", "Apple is not the same anymore", "Without SJ, Apple is not on their game", and my favorite yet "Because I saw the design of the back of a screen for an unreleased phone, I can make an educated conclusion that Apple no longer cares about design as they used to (SJ, wink wink)".

 

But I was patient, and now I see others have responded almost as I would have. I'm glad to see there is still some sanity left on this forum that defends logic and rationality. I really wish all people would think before they post... ah, but then I'd lose some humor from my day.

 

On the article: I don't see how anyone could've thought that chip on the back of the display assembly could be NFC. A simple compare to the iPhone 4S shows a similar, albeit smaller, chip attached in about the same location. NFC is pointless to release in most countries, including many with large Apple consumer bases, as it's not ubiquitous in deployment or use. Adding chips, controllers, and cost to a device where it will be unsupported and unused for a large percentage of consumers and retailers would be a VERY poor decision. There's simply little benefit at this point in releasing NFC unless you're only releasing a device in Japan or similarly equipped region. It would be like releasing a 4G with the iPhone 4 from two years ago, there was no benefit to consumers (at least within the USA) because there was almost no 4G coverage and almost no one would've benefitted. NFC is almost like the TV industry, it relies on all these 3rd parties that control the situation and would have to jump on board to a new way of doing things that costs money to implement (when they already have a system that works) and there's no guarantee of the new business model will success.

 

Also, I'm glad they are making the screen bigger without enlarging the phone obscenely. I can already hear the self-praise of Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive in my head from the future keynote, "Using engineering prowess and talent only Apple could employ, we increased the display size by X percent while only increasing the device's size by Y percent. This is how you can see Apple really cares about design and how people use their phones. Meanwhile..." and queue the competition's X vs Y ratio and see how poorly they do it. :-P

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post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by flabber View Post

I'm sure it has the usual CPU/GPU and memory updates, but the bigger screen without making a (drastically) bigger phone would be very nice indeed… I hate the Galaxy Note with a passion, but a slightly larger screen without making the phone larger would be a welcome change. :)

Hmm...

 

I cannot say for American men, but Singaporeans, Chinese Malays and Thais don't mind Galaxy Note because anyone who has smartphones also carry man purses.

 

Why not get one for yourself too? Very handy in this coupon-clipping times too.

post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

 

Also, I'm glad they are making the screen bigger without enlarging the phone obscenely. I can already hear the self-praise of Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive in my head from the future keynote, "Using engineering prowess and talent only Apple could employ, we increased the display size by X percent while only increasing the device's size by Y percent. This is how you can see Apple really cares about design and how people use their phones. Meanwhile..." and queue the competition's X vs Y ratio and see how poorly they do it. :-P

Then Apple and Samsung took the same question and come up with a different answers.

 

Apple keep the width but streches the screen longer. Samsung keep the old propotion but make the whole screen larger. Let's see which one is better.

post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairthrope View Post

Hmm...

 

I cannot say for American men, but Singaporeans, Chinese Malays and Thais don't mind Galaxy Note because anyone who has smartphones also carry man purses.

 

Why not get one for yourself too? Very handy in this coupon-clipping times too.

 Sadly, American men, generally speaking, cling to sexual stereotypes that would forbid anything that may be considered effeminate. Even over-the-shoulder messenger bags are many times ridiculed as a woman's purse, and I live in liberal Southern California.

 

Regardless, carrying a phone in a bag is less convenient that in a pocket, which is more easily accessible and, by design, always on your person.

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post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzuk View Post

So the iphone 5 is a 4S with a bigger screen. Disappointed big time. Yes I'll still buy it, but what a let down.

 

 

If you are disappointed then better not buy. You will just waste your money.

post #39 of 55
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post
Even over-the-shoulder messenger bags are many times ridiculed as a woman's purse, and I live in liberal Southern California.

 

That's nonsense (not disputing what you're saying, just what they're thinking)! They're not considered such even where I live, which is basically the polar opposite end of the spectrum. Sure, if you have a pink leather messenger bag, but not sane-colored ones. They're even the "in" thing for men around here.

post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairthrope View Post

Then Apple and Samsung took the same question and come up with a different answers.

 

Apple keep the width but streches the screen longer. Samsung keep the old propotion but make the whole screen larger. Let's see which one is better.

 Sorry, that last bit about the keynote was a bit of sarcasm on my part, I should have made that more clear. Apple's current display ratio has been 3:2 since they built a phone. Samsung, by and large, has kept a 16:9 aspect ratio. So Apple enlarging the screen by lengthening it to a 16:9 ratio was an easy way for them to change display size. And that's why Samsung has to enlarge the screen in both directions, to maintain that 16:9 aspect ration.

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