Purported prototype 'iPhone 5S' back panel shows minor tweaks to internal design

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Whether it's a prototype of a future "iPhone 5S" or an unused iPhone 5 design, a new part claims to show the back panel of an unreleased handset from Apple.

iPhone prototype


The component has an outside appearance essentially identical to Apple's recently released iPhone 5. But on the inside, the component, first highlighted by Nowhereelse.fr, has a slightly tweaked design with differently placed screws.

The parts are claimed to be from a prototype for Apple's next-generation iPhone, which could be known as the "iPhone 5S," if the company follows its previous naming scheme. However, given how recently the iPhone 5 launched, it's also possible the component could be from an earlier prototype design for Apple's latest handset.

Since the launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008, Apple has kept the same external iPhone design for about two years before overhauling its appearance. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 were succeeded by the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S in the following respective calendar years.

If that trend continues, a so-called "iPhone 5S" would have essentially same exterior as the current iPhone 5, with any changes made on the inside.

iPhone prototype


The back panel of the mystery iPhone part has 'X' marks replacing information such as the model number, FCC ID and IMEI number. Previous prototype handsets that have been photographed have also done this.

While the pictures may show a component from a prototype for a future iPhone, Apple is generally not expected to update its handset until late 2013, or about a year after the launch of the iPhone 5.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53


    Early start to the next set of rumors, eh? 


     


    Well, good. We haven't had any at all in a while. I'm realizing there was a void there, now that it isn't.

  • Reply 2 of 53
    patsupatsu Posts: 430member
    Well, it could just be a tweak to simplify iP5 manufacturing and not a 5S.
  • Reply 3 of 53


    Originally Posted by patsu View Post

    Well, it could just be a tweak to simplify iP5 manufacturing and not a 5S.


     


    I thought the same thing. They do have two models now. Perhaps they're trying for one.

  • Reply 4 of 53


    4, 4S is not long for this world as it has OLD 30 pin connection. They need to get everything to new connector ASAP.  ipads are done. 

  • Reply 5 of 53
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Internal adaptations for China Mobile? Their radios might require an altered internal arrangement.

  • Reply 6 of 53


    Originally Posted by fuji apple View Post

    4, 4S is not long for this world as it has OLD 30 pin connection. They need to get everything to new connector ASAP.  ipads are done. 


     


    Huh?

  • Reply 7 of 53
    neilmneilm Posts: 944member
    Oh god, is it that time already?
  • Reply 8 of 53
    Yeah, I'd wonder if its not an iPhone 5S but an iPhone 5T, where the T is for TD-SCDMA for China Mobile.

    The problem going forward is that Apple is going to have to run multiple models of phones for the indefinite future. Until CDMA networks worldwide shut down there will be CDMA/GSM divides. And given the disparate number of frequencies used worldwide for LTE (600, 700L, 700U, 800, 1800, PCS, AWS, WCS, 2.6GHz) you cant make one phone that works on all those frequencies. Its going to require multiple models.
  • Reply 9 of 53


    Only in the Apple world would the movement of screw placement on the PCB be a news event.  :P

  • Reply 10 of 53
    doh123doh123 Posts: 323member
    or thats an old prototype iphone 5....?
  • Reply 11 of 53

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post



    Internal adaptations for China Mobile? Their radios might require an altered internal arrangement.




    This was my first thought too, but would China Mobile phones still have FCC identification on them? Isn't the network technology incompatible? On the other hand, there is probably a need for an ID if these phones ever made it into the US by travelers regardless if the phone would work or not. Anyone have more info on how a China Mobile phones work in the US?

  • Reply 12 of 53
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member


    it could be many things.  Here's my list of most likely scenarios.


     



    • Like most have said, it could be a manufacturing tweak.  This also happened when the iPhone 4 for Verizon was launched.  And since Apple has launched the iPhone in China this month, it's very likely this part is the Chinese and other markets iPhone, they just make some tweaks for whatever reason...and said tweaks could venture over to the rest of the world production as well.  Auto Manufacturers do this also.


    • It could be the future so-called iPhone 5s, but it does seem a bit early for that.


    • If Gene Munster is right (which I usually think his "predictions" are bull-shit, stock influencing) this could very well be an iPhone 5s set to launch in March.  The idiot Munster believes Apple will go to a 6-month product cycle on the iPhone due to increased competition and creeping market share from Android.  However he "predicts" this won't happen until 2015.  He also believes Apple will produce a "Contract-Free, Unlocked" iPhone for sub-$200 in 2015 as well.  To me that's bull-shit IMO since I'm quite sure Apple's margins are inflated slightly because they know the Cell-phone companies will fork over the cash for subsidies.  For what other reason is there to offer an unlocked iPhone 4 for $450 knowing ATT will offer it for free?  That's all profit for Apple.


    • This is a prototype of the iPhone 5 that got tweaked to what we currently have.

  • Reply 13 of 53
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fuji apple View Post


    4, 4S is not long for this world as it has OLD 30 pin connection. They need to get everything to new connector ASAP.  ipads are done. 



    except for the iPad 2...


    however, I kind of hope they update the iPad 2 to match the iPad mini design and brand it the iPad Air.  That would fit in comparison to the Macbook line as well.


    Offer the Retina iPad as the Premium (Pro if you will) and the Air as the slim/trim/lighter full-sized iPad, and the Mini.  I hope this happens but It's probably unlikely, but it would make sense for people like me that want a lighter 10" iPad, but don't really care if it's retina or not.

  • Reply 14 of 53


    I feel that we are missing something in this picture though. Maybe I am seeing things and maybe my wishes for future capabilities are making me see this. But there is a spiral design in the casing just under the purple box. Could this be the location of an NFC antenna? Just a thought.

  • Reply 15 of 53


    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

    however, I kind of hope they update the iPad 2…


     


    They did. They were called the iPad 3 and iPad 4.






    …to match the iPad mini design and brand it the iPad Air.



     


    WHY.





    That would fit in comparison to the Macbook line as well.


     


    Why should a tablet line match a laptop line?






    I hope this happens but It's probably unlikely, but it would make sense for people like me that want a lighter 10" iPad, but don't really care if it's retina or not.



    …So just buy the iPad 2! ????





    Originally Posted by davion3052 View Post

    But there is a spiral design in the casing just under the purple box.


     


    That's just how the aluminum is cut, right? Nothing to do with NFC.

  • Reply 16 of 53
    patsu wrote: »
    Well, it could just be a tweak to simplify iP5 manufacturing and not a 5S.

    That is exactly what I thought. Looks like a cost reduction and simplification to integrate those connectors onto the two boards.
  • Reply 17 of 53

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by patsu View Post



    Well, it could just be a tweak to simplify iP5 manufacturing and not a 5S.


    That's definitely a possibility. I came across this article that agrees with what you say;


     


    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/12/apples-new-in-cell-displays-may-be-root-of-production-problems.html


     


    This is all speculation of course but still interesting.

  • Reply 18 of 53


    Speaking of the iPhone 5, I had a hands-on recently with it and I must say that I was totally blown away. The phone is a work of art and looks really classy. No picture can do justice to actually seeing the thing. I compared it with my 4S and loved what I saw.


     


    I have been waiting for the 64GB to come into stock. I had asked for the White one, but after my hands-on, I have requested they hold the Black one for me. I just can't wait!

  • Reply 19 of 53

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post


    Speaking of the iPhone 5, I had a hands-on recently with it and I must say that I was totally blown away. The phone is a work of art and looks really classy. No picture can do justice to actually seeing the thing. I compared it with my 4S and loved what I saw.


     


    I have been waiting for the 64GB to come into stock. I had asked for the White one, but after my hands-on, I have requested they hold the Black one for me. I just can't wait!



    "The phone is a work of art..."


     


    Yes it is.

  • Reply 20 of 53
    I agree that this is not news. I would comment that Apple has switched to a semi annual refresh due to competition from Samsung's newest phones. Apple let Samsung take away market share by not offering a semi annual update. I doubt they will make that mistake again.

    The iPad refresh was the first example of this. I expect the cell phones to follow.
Sign In or Register to comment.