Sites 9to5mac and engadget (via 'ubreakifix) have released images of what is appears to be the new iPhone. Atomic quietly suspected such leaks may occur in the wake of the immense interest generated by the Samsung Galaxy S3. With preorders for the latest Samsung handset topping the record set by the iPhone 4S, it makes sense for Apple to be worried or at least to wish to blunt interest in the Galaxy by drubbing up pre-release coverage of a new "iDevice". Whatever the rationale, we have ended up with purprorted shots of the back, sides and front bezel, minus internal hardware.
There are questions as to the autheticity of both sites' photos - appleinsider for one having very insightful suspicions based on the font not perfectly matching that used by Apple in previous generations. As such it is possible that this may be either an early engineering sample or an incredibly complex and convincing simulacra (a 'fake' in less technical terms). Certainly much of the tech world was completely taken in by shots of a 'teardrop' iPhone 4S which turned out to be inaccurate, so caution is both advisable and very much present.
Nonetheless Atomic’s assessment is that the pictured device is slightly more-likely-than-not to be genuine. As such it likely give us a good idea of how the new iPhone will look like upon release in Sept-Oct and clues as to its specifications.
Based on these photos the bezel is right on the expected 4” mark, our measurements giving it a 16:9 aspect ratio. There are suggestions from dailytech, among others that a 1136 x 640 resolution panel will find its home there .
The rest of the interesting stuff tends to be along the bottom of the shell. First and foremost Apple’s data connector while in its traditional place is much smaller. This would be the first time since the original iPod Apple has changed this proprietary USB connector design and apparently eschewed backwards compatibility for a more compact form factor. While not implied directly from this change, in the intuitive marketing sense Apple is so fond of a changed connector design may indicate a move to USB 3.0 (conceivably with Thunderbolt support) which would be very welcome. Due to this shrunk conenctor, both microphone and speaker have been enlarged, which would only be good for clarity .The 3.5mm headphone jack has been moved down from its traditional position at the top of the iPhone, taking up the rest of the real-estate freed up by the smaller Apple connector. Finally and contrary to some rumours, the hardware ‘home’ button is still very much there, albeit inow as a flattened oval.
Colours for the sixth-generation iPhone appear to be the traditional white and black with aluminium sides, however Apple looks like it has moved back to the mostly Aluminium rear of the original iPhone - potentially improving reception over the 4S. The revamped Aluminium rear also seems colourised to reasonably closely mirror the tone of the rest of the phone.
Additional tech-specs are entirely speculative. We can however make reasonable inferences from options in the hardware market (Apple at the end of the day uses existing tech) and its desire to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ (i.e. Android ). Most likely we’ll see a faster quad core ARM11 chip but it’s not inconceivable Apple will chose to stick with dual core. Given the extent of its recent fall out with it’s previous OEM Samsung, the next-gen CPU will most likely come from a new SoC maker and be manufactured on either a 32 or 28nm process, paired with 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM. Expected 32-128GB capacities and LTE (essentially 3.5G tech) round out the rest of what we can reasonably infer.
The new iPhone is expected to launch in September-October of this year, to roll-out with iOS 6 and fight a rather epic battle with the Galaxy S3 and other Android phones for top-dog status, with consumers potentially benefitting price-wise from the conflict. Atomic can't help but be a little excited to see how this next bout develops.