Unconfirmed photos may show Apple's 5th-gen or Verizon iPhone antenna redesign

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
New pictures claim to show a redesigned stainless steel frame for the iPhone, with new placement of black bands on the perimeter of the handset's frame, the metal band which also acts as the phone's antenna [update: video removed].



The photos from SmartPhone Medic claim to be from a "very reliable source" and purport to show an "unreleased iPhone design." The alleged new frame is pictured next to the existing one used in the current iPhone 4.



The photos appear to have been doctored in order to, at the very least, remove shadows and colors from the white background. AppleInsider cannot make any claims about the authenticity of the photos in question, but they are reposted here for interest and discussion.



SmartPhone Medic gained attention last August, when it acquired a genuine front panel for the then-unannounced fourth-generation iPod touch, complete with a spot for a forward-facing camera. But unlike that scoop, the alleged iPhone frame published Wednesday is not a hands-on look, just pictures.



Both frames look largely the same in the pictures, but the alleged new part has a few key differences found in the placement of "antenna gaps." The current iPhone 4 has three gaps -- two on the side, one on top -- while the pictured part shows four -- two on each side, none on top.



Update: An identical looking part has also been spotted in a video on YouTube, embedded below:



Update 2: The video has been removed following a legal complaint from Apple.







The antenna gap on the bottom left side of the current iPhone 4 caused a major controversy last year, when it was revealed that bridging that gap with a hand or even a fingertip could result in degradation of wireless reception. There were numerous rumors that Apple would revise the design of the iPhone 4 to address the issue, but Apple instead held a press conference to explain the situation and offered customers a free "bumper" case to fix it.







The alleged iPhone part also shows the device's frame with a retained spot for a micro-SIM card, suggesting it could be a redesign of the current GSM handset, or could be a new "world" phone with both GSM and CDMA. Apple is rumored to release a CDMA compatible phone in the near future.



The pictures appear to have been doctored to, at the very least, remove shadows from the white background.



Another possibility, if the frame is legitimate, is for a CDMA phone that also has a micro-SIM slot for 4G long-term evolution connectivity. While CDMA does not use a SIM card, Verizon's high-speed 4G network does. Finally, it's possible the alleged part could be for a prototype "iPhone 5," thought Apple is not expected to release a full-fledged fifth-generation device until this summer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    irelandireland Posts: 17,590member
    So the 5th gen iPhone is going to look like the 4th gen, basically? I don't think.
  • Reply 2 of 82
    Well keep in mind that one band is just for aesthetics and serves no function.
  • Reply 3 of 82
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,627member
    Jeesh... they're coming out of the woodwork now.



    Apple leaves the iPhone4 design alone post-antennagate, we get the "Apple refuses to admit a flaw" crowd.



    Apple does subtle redesigns that include the re-placement of the bands, we get the "See!! We were right all along!!!" crowd.



    Apple comes out with a totally different looking iP5 with nothing cosmetically similar to the iP4, we'll certainly get the "See, iP4 was a total failure all along!!!" crowd.







    These are evolutionary changes. Nothing more, nothing less. Apple is within its right to improve its products better than their previous generations.



    I suggest buying thicker tinfoil.
  • Reply 4 of 82
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,627member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Well keep in mind that one band is just for aesthetics and serves no function.



    Technically, aren't all the bands together a structural support unit? Some provide the reception, but the entire design is what really holds everything together. Isn't that correct?
  • Reply 5 of 82
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The current iPhone 4 has three gaps -- two on the side, one on top -- while the pictured part shows four -- two on each side, none on top.



    If it is the LTE version, do they need one more antenna, hence the additional gap?
  • Reply 6 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Jeesh... they're coming out of the woodwork now.



    Apple leaves the iPhone4 design alone post-antennagate, we get the "Apple refuses to admit a flaw" crowd.



    Apple does subtle redesigns that include the re-placement of the bands, we get the "See!! We were right all along!!!" crowd.



    Apple comes out with a totally different looking iP5 with nothing cosmetically similar to the iP4, we'll certainly get the "See, iP4 was a total failure all along!!!" crowd.







    These are evolutionary changes. Nothing more, nothing less. Apple is within its right to improve its products better than their previous generations.



    I suggest buying thicker tinfoil.



    one of the best comments in about a week.
  • Reply 7 of 82
    Sounds authentic. nay?
  • Reply 8 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    New pictures claim to show a redesigned stainless steel frame for the iPhone, with new placement of black bands on the perimeter of the handset's frame, the metal band which also acts as the phone's antenna.



    Just because it isn't mentioned ... the "bands" are irrelevant except for the fact that they separate the antennas. Talking about how many bands the new phone has is nonsensical when you should be talking about antennas. Essentially there are four metal sections now instead of three, so we could assume the presence of three or even possibly four antennas making it a "world phone," even though it isn't that likely. If there are no new antennas, then Apple has made the two that do exist significantly smaller. *That's* the news, not the bands.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...The photos appear to have been doctored in order to, at the very least, remove shadows and colors from the white background. ...



    No offence, but I see absolutely no evidence of this in the picture posted at all. They *may* have been doctored, but there isn't any indications of it being shown here.
  • Reply 9 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    J... Apple does subtle redesigns that include the re-placement of the bands, we get the "See!! We were right all along!!!" crowd. ...



    Yeah, I can hardly wait for all the idiots to start raving about this part.



    Perceptive types however, will note that the whole area where the "problem" supposedly was with iPhone 4 has been left exactly the same and that the antennas are still external to the device in exactly the same manner.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So the 5th gen iPhone is going to look like the 4th gen, basically? I don't think.



    The iPhone 3G and 3GS look identical. Why not the 4th and 5th generation models?
  • Reply 11 of 82
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    ... Essentially there are four metal sections now instead of three ...



    I could be misremembering this, but I believe there are only 2 "metal sections" (the cellular and wifi/bluetooth antennas) in the current IP4 design. Some of the "gaps" are merely cosmetic and the "sections" are actually joined internally. So, the number and position of "gaps" doesn't necessarily tell us a whole lot about the actual antenna design.
  • Reply 12 of 82
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    No offence, but I see absolutely no evidence of this in the picture posted at all. They *may* have been doctored, but there isn't any indications of it being shown here.



    No, I think AI is right. I do a lot of table top photography just like this and it is absolutely impossible (IMO) to have the white background entirely knocked out while maintaining good detail and even contrast on the metal objects, therefore I agree that there has been some digital color correction involved here.



    Plus if you zoom in with Photoshop, you can see the shadows are cut off unnaturally on the left two images. Furthermore, the images were taken separately and assembled together afterwards, and, the left set and the right were taken with different lighting and depth of field/focus.
  • Reply 13 of 82
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 802member
    Considering Photoshop is around these photos are poor at best.

    I wouldn't put to much credability in these
  • Reply 14 of 82
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So the 5th gen iPhone is going to look like the 4th gen, basically? I don't think.



    Why not. I think it's highly possible. Look at the 3G-3GS. Making a brand new design must be very expensive. I don't think they are going to change it every year.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So the 5th gen iPhone is going to look like the 4th gen, basically? I don't think.



    You mean the iPhone 4GS.



    5th Generation will come in 2012.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So the 5th gen iPhone is going to look like the 4th gen, basically? I don't think.



    Why not? The 2nd and 3rd phones had the same body



    My question is th placement suggests that they are putting th antenna at the top where hands won't hit it. But as I recall, the reason for a bottom antenna is that US require the antenna to be at the bottom
  • Reply 17 of 82
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    These plus the video look pretty legit to me. I wouldn?t have thought they?d get rid of the external antenna as some claimed. What I am shocked by is the lack of other vendors at CES going that route. I guess it?s not as necessary when you use a 4? plus display that allows you a much bigger footprint for the same components.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    The iPhone 3G and 3GS look identical. Why not the 4th and 5th generation models?



    I?d think that they?d go two generations with most iPhone models due to the accessories alone. I think that is a big selling point and having to wait to months for them to arrive isn?t good business. The alternative is to release your future designs well in advance but that has its own issues.
  • Reply 18 of 82
    ivladivlad Posts: 740member
    I think this is pretty probable. It looks like the top part of the iPhone can be used as the WI-FI and Bluetooth antenna and the whole bottom part that almost goes around the whole phone is going to be network antenna. This way if the hand is covering only the bottom part of the phone now it will have the rest of the metal to connect through.



    Plus it now looks symmetrical. Two black bands on one side and the other side.



    I wouldn't be surprised if the iPhone 5 will keep the form factor of iPhone 4. Apple did it once with 3G, why not again.
  • Reply 19 of 82
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    You mean the iPhone 4GS.



    5th Generation will come in 2012.



    Actually they are correct. It with be the fifth iPhone which would be the fifth generation. and thus could be called iPhone 5. They didn't call this phone the iPhone 4g because they didn't want to confuse the mass public since the phone is actually only on 3G. For they same reason they might not call the upcoming phone 4g(s) as it sounds like it won't yet be LTE
  • Reply 20 of 82
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Jeesh... they're coming out of the woodwork now.



    Apple leaves the iPhone4 design alone post-antennagate, we get the "Apple refuses to admit a flaw" crowd.



    Apple does subtle redesigns that include the re-placement of the bands, we get the "See!! We were right all along!!!" crowd.



    ...



    Sounds about right. I'd say, if one correctly predicted that the antenna will be redesigned, they should be allowed to say "I told you so!"



    Because hey, I told you so!



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...73&postcount=2
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