Purported Apple iPhone 5 cases again suggest hardware redesign

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    Bored with iPhone 5 rumors so now on to the cases.
  • Reply 2 of 62
    How do we know this case isn't destined for a future iPod Touch instead?
  • Reply 3 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    "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.
  • Reply 9 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    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).
  • Reply 11 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Or a Samsung device.



    Damn you! I just spit coffee on my desk!
  • Reply 15 of 62
    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...
  • Reply 16 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Or a Samsung device.



    it would fit the Samsung, by amazing coincidence.
  • Reply 17 of 62
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    I strongly believe these are for the new iPod touch.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    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...
  • Reply 19 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 62
    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..
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