Less than a week after we shared exclusive iPhone 5 engineering samples, and detailed iPhone 5 sample photos surfaced and were removed, more rumors suggest Apple is preparing to begin production of the iPhone 5, complete with a new look.
Japanese Apple site, MacOtakara claims that reliable sources in China sent a photo of the iPhone 5 back side showing a new two-tone layout for the next generation iPhone and a new camera configuration. The leaked photo below matches up with the new iPhone engineering photos we posted last Tuesday.
MacOtakara claims that the rear of the iPhone will not sport a glass cover like the iPhone 4S, but instead a bare aluminum. We’ve speculated that this new design could have something to do with antenna issues. One noticeable change between this leaked next gen iPhone photo and the previous leaks is the lack of a rear facing microphone hole, though the source says it may be “invisible”, not missing.
Rumors suggest the new design is taller and thinner, but not wider, to accommodate a larger 4-inch display. The screen rumors suggest Apple will make the display taller, opting for an aspect ratio closer to that of a HDTV.
iPhone 5 Release Date & Production
MacOtakara’s source claims that Apple and Foxconn have started manufacturing the iPhone 5. Rumors of the iPhone 5 release date range from August to October, but the start of production is a key factor.
Apple typically starts production of a new iPhone several months before the release date. The long time is needed to fine tune the process which is mostly done by hand, and to begin shipping the finished devices to the United States and other launch countries.
We don’t expect an August release date, even with analysts and sources hinting at an early August announcement. It is much more likely that Apple is working towards an iPhone 5 release date in September or October.
If Apple follows the timing of last year’s iPhone 4S launch, expect an announcement in late September and availability by the middle of October.
iPhone 5 Rumors
This latest iPhone 5 leak matches the look of what many sites claim are leaked iPhone 5 parts and schematics. This leak also looks very similar to our iPhone 5 engineering sample.
To see what these might look like on store shelves, check out the iPhone 5 rendering video.
In addition to rumors of a metal back and design, rumors suggest a collection of new iPhone 5 features. We fully expect the iPhone 5 will ship with a 4G LTE connectivity, and rumors suggest the new taller 4-inch display. Other possibilities include a Quad-Core processor and NFC connectivity. Apple is also likely to introduce a smaller 19-pin dock connector.
Stay tuned for more iPhone 5 news and rumors.