Apple's next iPhone will be a big deal for the company. It's a far too often made observation that this will be the first non-Jobs iPhone (not entirely true given Apple's dev cycle) what is much more relevant is that Android phones, in a charge spearheaded by Samsung have closed both the gap with Apple's in quality and in consumerist 'desirability' . At some point in the near future, iPhones will come to be viewed as what they functionally are - "a" smartphone using Apple's propriatary OS and have to compete as such.
The realit is that the Galaxy S3 outsold the iPhone 2-1 in the last quarter and also managed to beat the latest iPhone in pre-release orders. Samsung's latest has been joined by the equally compelling LG Optimus LTE 2 and HTC One X, as well as the successful Nokia Lumia 900. Hence the importance of the next iteration iPhone - it will be the generation to face those Android and Windows Phone 7 based competitors that are beinning to shape the market.
It's of extra interest, then, that more pictures of what seems to the next iPhone emerged today from a Japanese site.
Opinions are divided here at Atomic over their authenticity. Multiple sources, including Reuters have confirmed that the Apple will be moving to a smaller dock-connector and moving the 3.5mm headphone jack alongside. This does seem to tally with the leaked pictures we've seen so far as well as the video below, however more than a few Atomicans still feel this could be an 'engineering case' concealing the true design; only time will tell.
If this is the design, the new iPhone then seems set to be a pretty evolutionary affair. Similarly the preview of iOS 6 suggests no major changes - its a very tweak-heavy update. Ease-of use remains Apple's strongst suit and undoubtedly there's still a cache associated with their products, however unless this is a case hiding something quite special, while Atomic is sure that the new iPhone will impress on a lot of levels its status as the high water mark of the smartphone world may well come into question.
But then again Apple has arguably trolled the entire tech world for the last decade and come out laughing - Atomic will reserve judgement for now.