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Exclusive: iPhone 5 Engineering Sample Photos Direct from China

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Exclusive photos of an iPhone 5 engineering sample straight from a factory in China show the new phone will be slightly taller, slightly thinner and about the same width.

A trusted source inside the Apple supply chain sent images of the metal iPhone 5 design sample. The metal block shows the size of the iPhone 5, where the antenna and ports will be be and other design aspects.

The iPhone 5 is the first significant iPhone redesign since the iPhone 4 was introduced in June 2010. It will likely debut alongside iOS 6 this fall.

Update: Check out our iPhone 5 coverage for the latest iPhone news in one spot.

iPhone 5 Design

The new iPhone 5 will follow the iPhone 4S’ general design language. Its display will be larger thanks to the taller dimensions and smaller bezel, but Apple is not following Android manufacturers’ lead and producing a jumbo iPhone. The iPhone 5 will still be dwarfed by the Galaxy SIII and other flagship Android phones.

Front of iPhone 5 engineering sample.

Front of iPhone 5 engineering sample.

The rear-facing camera remains on the top-left of the back of the phone. The camera lens cutout appears to be about the same size as the iPhone 4S’. There is a rear-facing microphone placed between the camera and flash. The microphone will be utilized for video recording and noise reduction to improve call quality.

Read: Apple Planning Biggest Mobile Launch Around iPhone 5

Apple’s iPhone 5 has been rumored to be coming with a metal back. While the engineering sample doesn’t provide any conclusive evidence of the iPhone 5’s backing, it does show that there could be two materials on the back of the iPhone 5.

The middle part could possibly be made of metal, possibly even Liquidmetal, while the top and bottom of the device could feature glass, plastic, or something else entirely.

Read: New iPad Mini Engineering Sample Photos

iPhone 5 Dimensions

The images show the iPhone 5 that’s taller than the iPhone 4S, with the same width.

iPhone 5 engineering sample back

iPhone 5 engineering sample back.

The iPhone 5 is just over 120mm tall, whereas the iPhone 4S is 115.2mm tall. The added height will allow for the taller screen we’ve previously heard of.

The width of the engineering sample is about the same 58.6mm width of the iPhone 4S, which proves that Apple is working with a taller, but not wider screen.

Additional sources claim the iPhone 5 will launch with a smaller dock connector, and that Apple will provide an adapter at launch.

iPhone 5 Display

The iPhone 5 engineering sample doesn’t include indications for a display, but the overall size of the engineering sample is consistent with the leaked iPhone 5 front panel.

iPhone 5 display front panel

This part may be the iPhone 5 front panel.

MyDrivers claims this iPhone 5 front panel shows a 4-inch edge-to-edge display without drastically increasing the overall size of the iPhone 5.

New rumors claim that the iPhone 5 will use in-cell touch technology in the display. This allows for a thinner display and a thinner iPhone, as well as boasts better outdoor visibility.

iPhone 5 Antenna Design

Based on this engineering sample, the iPhone 5 looks like it will maintain the re-designed antenna layout from the iPhone 4S.

The back of the iPhone 5 engineering sample shows separation for the metal back, but these lines may also play a role in an advanced antenna design.

Apple redesigned the antenna after antennagate marred the launch of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone executive in charge left Apple.

iPhone 5 Battery Concerns

The iPhone 5 engineering sample doesn’t deliver a good look at the thickness of the next generation iPhone, which could spell trouble for battery life.

Current 4G LTE smartphones struggle to last a full day, save phones like the Droid RAZR MAXX.

Apple may count on better power management of Qualcomm 4G LTE chips and iOS 6 enhancements.

Apple normally nails battery life on mobile devices, so iPhone 5 engineers could use thinner components, like a thinner camera sensor and a thinner in-cell touch display, to make room for a larger battery without making the iPhone 5 thicker.

iPhone 5 Rumors

Over the past year, iPhone 5 rumors have sprouted up on what seems like a daily basis.

iPhone 5 mock up

iPhone 5 photo rendering shows what the iPhone 5 may look like.

And while Apple has yet to confirm the device’s features or the device itself, the rumors have painted a picture of what Apple might announce this fall.

Read: iPhone 5 Release Date, News and Rumors

Rumored features of the iPhone 5 include:

  • A 4-inch display that will replace the device’s usual 3.5-inch display.
  • A thinner design rumored to be 7.9mm up to the current 9.3mm found on the iPhone 4S.
  • A metal back that might replace the glass Apple used with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
  • A taller design to accommodate the device’s larger display
  • An improved front-facing camera, possibly HD in quality
  • 4G LTE data connectivity
  • Quad-Core Processor, possibly the A6 chip
  • Smaller 19-pin dock connector

The iPhone 5 engineering sample looks very similar to the TechnoBuffalo iPhone 5 concept in the video below.

The iPhone 5 might also come with NFC (Near-Field Communication) support which could be integrated with the new Passbook feature found in the new iOS 6.

Updated on July 24th 2012 with new iPhone 5 rumors and news.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

54 Comments

  1. Neil

    07/10/2012 at 3:41 pm

    i phone 5…How about a Quetion? How is surey improved??

    • 07538860136

      09/04/2012 at 3:50 pm

      i nead iphon 5

      • Melon

        09/09/2012 at 1:24 am

        me to i rely want wun…

  2. Julu Nair

    07/10/2012 at 9:10 pm

    iphone 5 will take considerably long time to come out.Iphone 4s is better option and it is widely sold at lowest price at
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SSB0YO?ie=UTF8&tag=notebookscom-20

    • james braselton

      08/23/2012 at 6:48 pm

      hi there yes iphone 4 cheap then again you get 32 gegabytes flash storage iphone 5 internet has confirmed a whopping 128 gegabytes flash storage give me 128 gb flash

  3. iPhone

    07/10/2012 at 11:29 pm

    Hm, I wouldn’t mind if the final model looks like that ;)

  4. Bertil

    07/11/2012 at 1:49 am

    That piece of metal probably comes from a case maker, working from earlier rumors.

  5. ms smith

    07/11/2012 at 9:08 am

    I can’t wait til they come out this a be my first iPhone and I want the iphone 5 please hurry and come out lol

    • Matt

      07/11/2012 at 4:04 pm

      I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Don’t count on all or any of the features described in this article to be on there. Why not get an iPhone 4S, available now, rather than an unannounced product?

      To other posters: Galaxy sucks!! ;)

      • ms smith

        07/11/2012 at 5:30 pm

        because i would hate to get the iphone 4s then the iphone 5 comes out lol you know how they do might as well wait. it dont have to have all the feature they are claiming it to have just want a iphone 5 if its going to have a bigger screen. :-) i dont like samsung phone lol so dont worry bout me getting one of those but good looking out matt

      • Jay

        08/02/2012 at 11:28 am

        To other posters: Galaxy sucks!! ;)

        But the Galaxy S3 blows past, current, and more than likely future iphones

      • james braselton

        08/23/2012 at 6:52 pm

        hi there wait or you will not happy apple releases new products every 6 months and iohone 5 going have 128 gegabytes flash storage over 32 gegabytes flash storage for iphone 4

  6. ms smith

    07/11/2012 at 9:14 am

    I can’t wait til they come I would like the screen to be bigger. That would be a nice upgrade hope they hurry and come out. A be one of the first to buy one lol. Can’t wait. Then I can face time with my brother .

    • Interested party

      07/22/2012 at 8:04 pm

      I have a face if you have the time?

  7. Mark

    07/11/2012 at 10:04 am

    I can’t wait to dump my current “work issued” blackberry for the i-Phone 5 when it comes out! My contract is up at the end of Nov.

  8. iPhone Magnet

    07/11/2012 at 10:44 am

    I love the flat backed design of the new iPhone, never been a fan of the bulging battery back of the Android devices.

    • Herbie

      07/11/2012 at 11:58 am

      Not all android phones have a bulging back… Have a look at the Galaxy S3

      • Bob Apple

        07/22/2012 at 1:42 am

        samsung suck shit sunny boyy:)

        • Andre Galaxy

          07/24/2012 at 9:34 am

          I have owned both (iPhone & Galaxy S) and without a doubt, the Galaxy S is a better overall phone. The freedom of Android over iOS is for a different argument. I am referring to the features on each of the phones. The SGS2 and 3 far surpass what the 4 or 4S can do.

          All of the Apple nut swingers really crack me up. Instead of being open minded, you guys run around under the Apple cult and proclaim its superiority. Jobs was a brilliant mind and now that he is gone, Apple will go back to being a nothing brand that makes themselves look like idiots with frivolous lawsuits against Samsung.

          • evvy

            07/29/2012 at 3:41 pm

            um if you have a problem with apple why are you even reading about the latest pictures and stuff. And being a samsung nut rather then an apple nut isnt much better.

        • Andrew Android

          08/09/2012 at 1:28 pm

          You Apple Fanboys should know by now that Android users are interested in all types of tech, even the iPhone. The iPhone is a -fine- device with -fine- qualities. An average person can have a good time using its simple and (what Apple calls) user friendly experience. What it lacks is functionality. Remember: the iPhone is like a blonde prostitute. It looks really great on the outside, but past that it is pretty shitty.

          • rogue

            09/07/2012 at 9:06 am

            you are the smartest person on this website :D

        • Aokp droid

          08/23/2012 at 7:41 pm

          Thats a funny comment as samsung makes parts for your beloved iphone

          • Thomas

            04/07/2013 at 3:45 am

            Lol that’s unfortuantely true you can also find most of the screen components used on the galaxy s4 on the IPhone it self how funny is that (Apple freak typing)

  9. alex

    07/11/2012 at 11:56 am

    I find the galaxy s3 way better than the iphone….any ways everybody got an iphone so gotta be unique so ill go with the galaxy its way better hands down

    • Luke

      08/25/2012 at 12:56 pm

      What makes your comment even funnier is Samsung is being sued 1 000 000 000 by apple for the S3

  10. bob

    07/11/2012 at 2:54 pm

    ya until ur s3 takes a galaxy size shit on you

    • Bob Apple 1

      07/22/2012 at 1:44 am

      stole my name

  11. Gaylaxy

    07/11/2012 at 2:55 pm

    Whoever likes the galaxy is lame! Lol

  12. Rick

    07/11/2012 at 2:59 pm

    People who make the argument that everyone has an iPhone and therefore they want to be different or unique by not having one are foolish. If you own a different phone because it is better or easier on your wallet, then that is a logical reason. However, if you’re trying to be different, then…. I shouldn’t even wast my breath.

    • waste*

      07/16/2012 at 9:11 pm

      waste*

  13. Vic

    07/12/2012 at 7:58 pm

    Same as last model, some improvements but not enough. That in reality would be version 3, but they will end doing like chrome. The Samsung Galaxy SIII is far better.

  14. Ray

    07/13/2012 at 1:14 am

    Ithink they should make a big inprovement & put a thin slide out keyboard. Aha that would be awesome for a iphone(in my opinion.)

  15. Mid

    07/15/2012 at 11:18 pm

    Galaxy SIII is just a piece of plastic junk. You can´t evn update it to the next system Jelly Bean 4.1.

    Samsung will make you nerds buy a new phone every year. My iPhone 3G from 2008 was still in use early this year. My iPhone 3GS is in use with iOS 5.1!

    • robocop

      07/26/2012 at 5:14 pm

      Thats because Nexus devices from Google get first dibs on updates…Google wanted to make sure its first-ever tablet, the Nexus7 got 4.1 to showcase. Since then Google has released a list of all phones capable of handling 4.1 upgrades…this is not only due to the advances features, graphic and system improvements, and stability/smoothness increases, but also because the apps get more advanced and the older versions of android just cant handle it.

      That being said my HTC Incredible from 2010 was fantastic…my Galaxy S3 is better in every way and in universally praised by every website, who also say you’d have to be a complete idiot to get an iPhone 4S now.

      The Galaxy S3 will be updated with 4.1 by the end of August for free.

      And nerds buy the next iPhone every year, even though the 4 and the 4S are a tiny difference when you compare the S2 and S3.

      And my Incredible went from Android 2.1 to 2.2 in about 3 weeks…then 2.2′s updates from .1,.2,.3,and finally to 2.3.4 before I rooted and ROM’d it, turning it into a completely different device that ran faster and smoother..I then put a 4.0 ROM on it and got the Galaxy S3, which even Mac World was jealous of.

      Android 4.1 also emphasizes Android’s capabilities that have been in their OS since I got my Incredible in 2010…for reference you can read Droid-Life’s overview of iOS 6 and how everything “new” has been in Android this whole time, we just dont brag about it.

      And I hardly think the 1.5Ghz Dual Core, 2GB of RAM, 48GB of memory, 4.8″ gorgeous screen that is actually HD, not faked retina, and battery life that blows away anything other than the RAZR Maxx will be obsolete in a year…if it is, its cuz Android is actually improving and making drastic changes, not adding an “S” after…your home screen is a single app drawer and your screen is 3.5″…since 2008

      • Urfullofshit

        08/14/2012 at 10:22 am

        I’ll never get you fanboys. Arguing over which phone OS is better? Wow. At least get your info straight, that “gorgeous screen that is actually HD, not faked retina” is the reason I didn’t buy an S3, since it is a PenTile display and you can see visible distortion in it.

        a PenTile display has 33% fewer sub-pixels than a traditional display,” says Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate. “These are phoney pixels. A 1,280 x 720 PenTile display is much less sharp than a true 1,280 x 720 RGB display. ”

        So why does it have such a crappy display? Because its cheap and suckers like you believe whatever you’re told.

        By putting “HD” and “Super” in the name of the product, consumers are led to believe it’s a superior technology than AMOLED. “People think they are getting a much sharper display,” says Soneira.

  16. Sprint4life

    07/17/2012 at 4:43 pm

    S3 is better by far overall….But with that being said its really up to the consumer what works better But unlimited Data for either two phones a must have. S3 and iphone owner love both get yours today.

  17. Tom

    07/18/2012 at 6:32 am

    Need a real terrestrial radio device… no streaming!

  18. stupide

    07/21/2012 at 6:33 am

    again the same ugly and laggy shit as before… -.-

  19. Stu

    07/21/2012 at 6:09 pm

    I will admit the the galaxy S3 looks awesome however it’s not all about looks. I got my iPhone 3GS 3 yrs ago and still works perfectly. Meanwhile I’ve watched friends with Android phones go thru multiple replacements. Not that I’m an apple snob at all, I don’t have a Mac, but they have a solid, reliable product in the iPhone series.

  20. roodog 69r

    07/22/2012 at 6:33 am

    well for me the smoke and mirror signals
    will be a thing of the past,
    the out back herein Australia is so sad ,no net
    nothing,hmmmmmmmm only sat phones work,sooooooooo,i would like a iphone 5 show up all the boo boo,s here ,wow even if it does not work hehehe
    it will make me look like flash harry among the dingo,s and the crows
    oh one more thing ,can it keep beer cold,help me catch fish
    and if i point it will it be effective in keeping crocodiles away
    and attract people pffering free beer ???? enjoy each day is a gift
    oh ps how do ya turn th ebloody thing on ??????

  21. Giorgos

    07/22/2012 at 3:55 pm

    Also some nice images for the new iphone at http://www.iphoneblogger.net/blog/iphone-5-rumors-collection/

  22. steve househam

    07/28/2012 at 9:36 am

    I THINK WHAT WHERE SEEING IS THE NEW IPOD TOUCH WHICH IS SAID TO BE GETTING A BIG UP GRADE THIS YEAR AND YES ITS MENT TO HAVE A 4INC SCREEN AND WE ALL NO IT COULD LOOK SO MUCH LIKE THE ABOVE SAMPLE AND HAVE THE NEW 19 PIN CONECTION AND THE RELOCATED PHONE JACK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CASE WITH EVEN THE NEW FRONT FACING CAMMERA ECT LOADED ON BOARD ALSO GOOD OPPERTUNITY TO TEST ANY NEW BATTERIES FOR POWER CONSUMPTION
    SO I THINK THIS IS WHAT WE ARE SEEING BEEN WORKED ON THINER SCREEN TRIAL MAY EXPLAINE THE THE APPS ABOVE AND WE HAVE SEEN ON OTHER TEST BITS SO ARE THEY BEEN TESTED ON THE ABOVE AND WHY APPLE DONT SEEM TO BE CHASEING THE LEAKS OUT THERE A GOOD WAY OF LETTING US THINK ITS GOING TO BE LIKE THE ABOVE WITH OUT ANY CONFAMATION WHICH BUYS SOME TIME FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEW IPHONE AND RELEASE THE NEW IPOD TOUCH FIRST
    AS A NOTE WE ALSO HEARD THAT STEVE JOBS WAS WORKING ON A NEW DESIGN BEFORE HIS DEATH AND HENCE WE GOT THE 4S SO QUICKLY WITH OUT TO MUCH OF AN UP GRADE TO IT SO A NEW HAND SET COULD BE ON THE CARDS FROM WHERE HE LEFT OFF AND WE ALL KNOW HE LIKED A THIN HAND SET AND LIGHTER WHICH MAY BE ON ITS WAY VERY SOON AFTER THE IPOD TOUCH RELEASE I MAY BE WRONG BUT WORTH A THOUGHT DONT YOU THINK

  23. kassandra freitas

    07/28/2012 at 8:17 pm

    you iphone too see from did We do Too see you see hey for

  24. Willem

    08/06/2012 at 2:37 am

    I can’t wait to have that beautiful toy on my hands.

  25. chachi

    08/10/2012 at 5:34 pm

    I have the samsung 3 thinking this is the best in the world never had an iphone always just droids,anyway its hard to type on it , keyboard is difficult.. it also looses connection in airports and u cannot even tex at times and freezes up.. i love my phone very much but i have to say my last samsung was much better..true it has many features but what good is this if u have to step out of the security line because u no longer can bring up the ticket on ur phone and have to go get one issued to u,this happens many times to me.. so if u just sit around and play games with it then its fine but for travel and business sorry folks not going to happen without frustration.. im not techy at all.. and i know this but these errors are not from me doing something wrong ,, its the phone , also some areas if u want to bring up pictures its also hard to do.. and freezes.. sooooo i have no clue what phone to get..none.. i tried the maxx…and ok if u dont use it u get 21 hours if u use it , it goes dead like any other phone with maybe an additional hour .. i tested it.. and its big but keyboard is great.. i know nothign of the iphone 4 or 5 but if the phone gets good reception in airports im for it .. at least to try it

  26. Lowest Applefansofthemallhere

    08/17/2012 at 12:08 am

    is it just me or the apple fans here sounds like retarded hicks that are from ages 4-40

  27. Michaelswitched

    08/27/2012 at 8:53 pm

    Androids freez to much I switch to IPhone its bad ass

    • Onan

      09/06/2012 at 12:08 pm

      How many of us here will actually consider buying the new iPhone 5 next week?

      I am still worried that it might be a bad idea to get it.

      who knows, maybe it is better than the Steve Jobs series?

      I’m still conducting research and finding more pros than cons for this version.

      But again,l still need more time to read reviews like this one: http://www.cproductreviews.com/iphone-5-review/ just to be sure.

  28. Nicolas smith

    09/21/2012 at 2:33 pm

    iPhone 5 sucks iOS 6 sucks the maps aren’t even 3d like they said it would be I hate it 👎

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    11/14/2012 at 12:46 am

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  30. John

    12/02/2012 at 6:11 am

    The iPhone 5 has arrived, and it is possible to get it cheaply, if not free from FreeStore! Check out how to get it now!
    FreeStore: http://bit.ly/UzXBdj

  31. apple iphone 6

    10/06/2013 at 10:55 am

    The design of the new iPhone looks very cool!

  32. best ipad air cases and covers

    12/11/2013 at 6:26 am

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