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New photos may show rear of next-gen iPhone casing

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Leaked photos on Thursday purport to reveal a new iPhone design with an unfamiliar model number and a more subdued, matte black surface.

The images, first sent to iPod Observer in early form but followed up by a couple of larger versions at MacRumors, show what at first looks to be the familiar, tapered back of iPhone 3G but give signs that they may represent an entirely different model.

The empty shell appears to have official model markings for a 16GB iPhone but lists a new model number, A1303, that doesn't correlate to existing iPhone models with the same capacity. Existing 16GB iPhone 3G units often have the model number A1241.

More tellingly, the example put on display drops the glossy coat that has defined both black and white iPhone 3G models since launch. It's instead a dull, matte finish not unlike the back of current aluminum iMac models. The tip to Mac Rumors implies that the finish is also textured and less prone to slipping out of one's hand.

Supposedly originating from China, the photos are difficult to authenticate and still carry the risk of being identified as fakes. However, they're posted by the Observer in the belief that its history with sources supports this latest leak; tellingly, the news site was one of the first to have a photo of what was later confirmed to be the iPhone 3G's back.

Images of the claimed new iPhone back. | Image credits: iPod Observer and MacRumors.

There have yet to be additional rumors supporting the change in case design, though Apple has been steadily dropping hints of a widely anticipated iPhone revision, including a hardware identifier string for an unreleased iPhone 2,1 and statements by both Apple's Phil Schiller and carrier partners that allude to a June refresh.
post #2 of 57
What about the FCC ID number? There's no information about it on the FCC site?
post #3 of 57
This new-er iPhone will be known as the "unibody iPhone" lol

The real thing it needs though is a damn better camera, and yeah, throw in an OLED display too, thanks.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

What about the FCC ID number? There's no information about it on the FCC site?

They may get away without that if the internals are basically the same, though I'm not 100% sure on that.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 57
Aww heck, now I'm going to have to upgrade!

Still, looks good in metal.
post #6 of 57
What's also suspicious about that image is how "o" and "e" are cut off on the bottom in "iPhone".
I also wonder what the "0682" means, at least it's the same on the 3G.
post #7 of 57
I'm calling this a fake (I could be wrong).
Mainly due to the un-Apple like info on the back. Apple usually likes to keep such info subtle.
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post #8 of 57
But on the other hand, the new tech for the unibody Macbooks makes me think a unibody iPhone is a distinct possibility - literally carve it out of a piece of Aluminum.
post #9 of 57
The cropped letters are suspicious, but I have to say that I think I like the look of it. I wouldn't be opposed to buying such a phone in a few months...
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post #10 of 57
What does the inside of the current iPhone back look like?

Is it normal for plastic to be milled out on that scale? Though metal doesn't make sense - is there again that off-chance of the ceramic body?
post #11 of 57
Me says fake - I am hoping for an even flat shape (flat front, flat back) and not rounded edges. The edges could be same alu as imac. I find the present iteration (lovely as it is) a little slippy with the overly rounded edges (I hate covers). Same screen size but a slimmer smaller phone.
post #12 of 57
Haven't we seen oddly-cropped letters on other leaks before that have turned out to be real photos? I could be totally wrong, but I seem to remember seeing these kinds of arguments before (e.g. odd lettering, and therefore fake) to have them turn out to be just artifacts of an early manufacturing state.

Again, I could be completely off.

One thing I would point out is that the camera appears to have no flash. I know that's something people have been hoping for.
post #13 of 57
Yes I had the misfortune of having my iPhone 3G slip out of my hand and bounce down a flight of stairs, with me doing a slow motion 'Noooooooo'.

Luckily it survived with barely a scratch, and I put a lot of it down to the rounded design, it's good at absorbing the blows, at least in my experience.
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

What does the inside of the current iPhone back look like?

Is it normal for plastic to be milled out on that scale? Though metal doesn't make sense - is there again that off-chance of the ceramic body?

The current plastic back looks more like composite on the inside, possibly injection moulded, but not milled IMO.

Things I noticed about this image:
  • If you run it through PShop, you can see it's a real shape and has a couple of minor dust particles on it so it's probably not a render.
  • No ports or connectors show, which they should if it's anything like the current model viewed at the same angle.
  • It's a different shape than the current iPhone, the curvature of the corners is more organic and exaggerated, so probably not a current iPhone that has been altered.
My guess is that it's fake because the only way I can see the ports being missing is if they went to wireless everything which seems wildly unlikely. Since it seems like a real object, but is probably fake and has exaggerated curves on the corners I would say its a case that's been doctored in PShop to look like it's the iPhone instead of just a case.
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post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

...the only way I can see the ports being missing is if they went to wireless everything which seems wildly unlikely.

You know, I hadn't thought about that at all, but is it so crazy? Couldn't it be like a wireless toothbrush - you just set it into a dock to charge/sync? Obviously, if Apple wants to call this an upgrade, their best case scenario (though, of course, not at all their only one) is to make this phone a demonstrable step forward from the old one. I could definitely see them doing something like this to make it completely different from all of the other cellphones on the market (that I know of, at least) both because it's new and flashy - that's got Apple written all over it.

One of the main issues that I can see shooting a hole in this idea is that they'd be forced to go back to bundling a docking station with every phone sold - something I sincerely doubt they're interested in doing. Also, it would mean a larger accessory to carry around with your phone (not just a cord and transformer, but a dock as well) to the office, while on vacation, etc.

I'm just speculating. I'm not married to this idea or even positing it as a likely option. Just thinking aloud.
post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The current plastic back looks more like composite on the inside, possibly injection moulded, but not milled IMO. [*]No ports or connectors show, which they should if it's anything like the current model viewed at the same angle... My guess is that it's fake because the only way I can see the ports being missing is if they went to wireless everything which seems wildly unlikely.

I think the reason there's no ports showing is because this is only the plastic back to the phone, not the whole phone, that's being photographed. Hence the white hole where the camera should be, and the photo of the inside of the back instead of the other side of the phone. Perhaps the chopped off letters were a manufacturing defect and so someone snagged this from a discard pile of sorts?
post #17 of 57
I came here for the cries of "FAKE" and was not disappointed.

I just love junior forensic scientists.
post #18 of 57
*ahem*

So where will the Serial Number go?
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongoherbert View Post

I came here for the cries of "FAKE" and was not disappointed.

I just love junior forensic scientists.

Forensic does come from Latin meaning public, refering to an open, public debate so of does seem apropos that it is being "forensizifed" on an Internet 'forum', the route word of forensic. As for being scientific, I think anyone who has used PS or owned a CE is more than qualified to have an opinion when it comes to such rudimentary obervational science, but I'm being pedantic.
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post #20 of 57
So I'm taking that this is a matte finish? I don't know why they even went to plastic and not right to this. I understand coming from the first generation and the metal backing that was an issue with reception and gps etc. Everyone always complains when it's a crappy/cheap back finish.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post

But on the other hand, the new tech for the unibody Macbooks makes me think a unibody iPhone is a distinct possibility - literally carve it out of a piece of Aluminum.

Not going to happen. The metal would inhibit - or block all together - the signal reception. The first-gen iPhone had an aluminum back but had to leave the bottom portion plastic for the signal.
post #22 of 57
I get the nagging feeling that this is one of those leaks which we'll swear up and down is "fake," one we'll nitpick the details of for hours, and yet which will ultimately be accurate.

Remember, that initial black iPhone on a keyboard was decried as fake, but it was one of the first real iPhone 3G shots. This could be one of those too-early-to-tell images.
post #23 of 57
I am not shocked. I don't think we will see any major case redesign like we did with the 3G iPhone. I think the most we will probably see is the finish of the case. The focus will be on the internals. Hardware wise, they need at least faster processor, longer battery life, improved graphics, and better camera with HD video recording. Software wise, the possibilities are limitless but let's hope for background applications/multitasking and cut and paste. However, I really doubt that Apple will give us all of this at once.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The current plastic back looks more like composite on the inside, possibly injection moulded, but not milled IMO.

This image from iFixit shows the inside of the current 3g and it has the same milling marks.

post #25 of 57
What use is a photo of the back
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

You know, I hadn't thought about that at all, but is it so crazy? Couldn't it be like a wireless toothbrush - you just set it into a dock to charge/sync? Obviously, if Apple wants to call this an upgrade, their best case scenario (though, of course, not at all their only one) is to make this phone a demonstrable step forward from the old one. I could definitely see them doing something like this to make it completely different from all of the other cellphones on the market (that I know of, at least) both because it's new and flashy - that's got Apple written all over it.

One of the main issues that I can see shooting a hole in this idea is that they'd be forced to go back to bundling a docking station with every phone sold - something I sincerely doubt they're interested in doing. Also, it would mean a larger accessory to carry around with your phone (not just a cord and transformer, but a dock as well) to the office, while on vacation, etc.

I'm just speculating. I'm not married to this idea or even positing it as a likely option. Just thinking aloud.


I wouldn't exactly call wireless charging new and flashy and having Apple written all over it.

The Palm Pre is going to be shipped with a wireless charger.

"The Palm Touchstone is a wireless charger for the Palm Pre. Just place the smartphone atop the accessory and it will juice up your device without any meddling wires."

http://ces.cnet.com/4326-19506_1-100...tag=mncol;page
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

I wouldn't exactly call wireless charging new and flashy and having Apple written all over it.

The Palm Pre is going to be shipped with a wireless charger.

Ah, my bad. I realize wireless charging isn't exactly new, I just didn't think it had yet been applied to cellphones. Screwed by Palm, once again...
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombadier337 View Post

This image from iFixit shows the inside of the current 3g and it has the same milling marks.

Well I didn't say I was sure or anything I was just trying to answer someone's question.

In any case that picture clearly shows that it is *not* milled.
It looks like it's an injection moulding.
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post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

What's also suspicious about that image is how "o" and "e" are cut off on the bottom in "iPhone".
I also wonder what the "0682" means, at least it's the same on the 3G.

There seems to be something wrong with all of the lowercase "i"s too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by >_> View Post

*ahem*
So where will the Serial Number go?

Shouldn't there also be an IMEI number?
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

Ah, my bad. I realize wireless charging isn't exactly new, I just didn't think it had yet been applied to cellphones. Screwed by Palm, once again...

Apple came out with a patent for wireless charging of mobiles long before Palm announced the pre, so they could still do it if they want. I could be wrong but I think it's waay too soon for the iPhone to drop all it's ports though. Look at all the whining over the single missing firewire port on the 13" MacBook.

If they use something like the new Samsung wireless USB chip (which probably isn't even in production yet anyway), and if they use inductive charging, and if they use the speaker system on the latest generation iPod (which doesn't require an opening), they could do an iPhone with no ports on the bottom, but it seems like a bit of a long shot to me.
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post #31 of 57
Woowoo! Now that's a nice rear!
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post #32 of 57
opps, my bad
post #33 of 57
Y'all desperate for legitimate news from the mother ship, so have lapsed into the exercise some of us call mental masturbation

Heavens to death, folks; who cares?

Beam me up, Scotty
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Apple came out with a patent for wireless charging of mobiles long before Palm announced the pre, so they could still do it if they want. I could be wrong but I think it's waay too soon for the iPhone to drop all it's ports though. Look at all the whining over the single missing firewire port on the 13" MacBook.

If they use something like the new Samsung wireless USB chip (which probably isn't even in production yet anyway), and if they use inductive charging, and if they use the speaker system on the latest generation iPod (which doesn't require an opening), they could do an iPhone with no ports on the bottom, but it seems like a bit of a long shot to me.

The could still do it but they'd be chasing the puck.

Let's hope they don't put the same audio jack that's in the New MacBooks.
post #35 of 57
I believe it to be a fake. Why? Apple is the most detail obsessive company on planet Earth. They're not going to have the "by" in "Designed by Apple" in lower-case and then have "In California" with a capitalized "In". The same thing with "In China". There's no way. Look at your current iPhones, or any other Apple product for that fact, I'm willing to bet that you're not going to see "in" capitalized. It's not proper.

That's more than enough to convince me that this is, indeed, a fake.
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post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by UbiquitousGeek View Post

I believe it to be a fake. Why? Apple is the most detail obsessive company on planet Earth. They're not going to have the "by" in "Designed by Apple" in lower-case and then have "In California" with a capitalized "In". The same thing with "In China". There's no way. Look at your current iPhones, or any other Apple product for that fact, I'm willing to bet that you're not going to see "in" capitalized. It's not proper.

That's more than enough to convince me that this is, indeed, a fake.

It took the improper use of punctuation to realize this photo is fake.

Gosh... you are the smart one.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

It took the improper use of punctuation to realize this photo is fake.

Gosh... you are the smart one.

Ah, yes, UbiquitousGeek is clealy smart (and observant).....

Yet... if Apple is the detail-obsessive company that he suggests it is, and its goal is to mislead people into thinking this design is bogus because people will assume that a detail-obsessive company will not make such basic punctuation errors, wouldn't it make sense for it to.....


OK, I give up.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

It took the improper use of punctuation to realize this photo is fake.

Gosh... you are the smart one.

Not so fast. It looks to me like they are indeed lowercase but the photo is blurry/bright making the dot on the i hard to see.

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Not so fast. It looks to me like they are indeed lowercase but the photo is blurry/bright making the dot on the i hard to see.

Zooming way in, I can't say that I agree. The other lower-case ones are easy enough to see. Also, when you take into consideration that the bottom of "iPhone" does appear to be "cut off", it makes it that much more obvious. I've seen a lot of Chinese fakes first hand, and this looks like another one to me. These Chinese rip-off artists make a lot of cash fooling ignorant cheap-asses into buying fake Apple products on the internet. I wonder what percentage of Apple's help desk calls are from people who buy this crap.
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post #40 of 57
What about Carbon Fiber??

Wasn't it recently reported that Apple was looking into carbon fiber moldings for MacBook Air casing. What if apple is using it on the iPhone as well. This definately looks like carbon fiber.

I think this is real. There i said it.
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