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New iPhone 5 Engineering Photos Show Thinner Design



Alleged iPhone 5 photos are leaking out of China at a faster pace. Just days after we shared exclusive iPhone 5 engineering samples from a source in China,These new iPhone 5 photos show what appears to be a detailed, but solid iPhone 5 sample or model likely used to test accessories or refine the manufacturing process, even though it is highly dependent on hand assembly.

Cult of Mac spotted the iPhone 5 photos which KitGuru claims are of a “pre-release iPhone 5 test sample”.

The sample iPhone 5 photos match up with the iPhone 5 engineering samples we shared giving further weight to the look and size of the iPhone 5, though this wouldn’t be the first time sources in Asia have failed to discern the look of the new iPhone ahead of its release.

The leaked iPhone 5 photos show the taller iPhone 5 next to an iPhone 4S for size comparison, and include the now familiar two-part back design which may accommodate a metal back as part of an iPhone 5 design refresh. This photo also shows the new iPhone may be thinner than the iPhone 4S. Look at the edges where the devices meet

iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4s size comparison photo

Alleged iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S for a size and thickness comparison.

The leak also includes photos of the iPhone 5 side that shows it may be thinner than the current iPhone. Assuming the volume buttons remain the same size on the new iPhone, this engineering sample shows less room on the front and back of the device.

iPhone 5 thickness photo

Notice the thinner front and back panels on this claimed iPhone 5 leaked photo.

Removing the small plastic bezels from the iPhone 4S leaves us with a similar look and the potential for an iPhone 5 with a 8mm thick design, roughly a 15% reduction in thickness.This is 1mm thinner than the Droid RAZR MAXX.

iPhone 4s panels

Note the thicker plastic panels on the front and back of the iPhone 4S.

We’ve heard that Apple would use In-cell touch display technology to deliver a thinner iPhone 5 and this could support that rumor.

iPhone 5 dock connector engineering sample photo

The alleged iPhone 5 photo provides a look at the new dock connector and potential thickness.

Looking at the claimed sample photo bottom of the iPhone 5 we can see the 3.5mm headphone jack on which also appears to show a thinner front and back for the next generation iPhone. This shot also shows a dual speaker design and smaller dock connector like the one we saw on our iPad Mini engineering sample.

iPad Mini Sample Small Dock

The leaked iPad Mini mold from a separate source shows a similar design around the dock.

iPhone 5 Rumors

The engineering sample photos look a lot like the alleged leaked iPhone 5 parts shown in the video below.

The part leaks, mold leaks and photo renderings all share common characteristics, even though they come form different sources. This could mean we are on to the iPhone 5 design, which could look like the photo below when release day rolls around.

White iPhone 5 photo

Photo rendering shows what the white iPhone 5 may look like.

The similarity of leaks could also mean that Apple is intentionally leaking information to a few sources to out leaks or that all of our leaks come from the same initial source deep in the Apple supply chain. This would mean everything we know about the iPhone 5 is wrong.

We currently think the iPhone 5 will sport the following specs and features when Apple announces it.

  • 4-inch Retina Display
  • Slightly taller and slightly thinner, but the same width.
  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • A Quad-Core processor, possibly the Apple A6 processor.
  • New smaller 19-pin dock connector
  • Partial metal back, which could play a part in a better antenna design.

Read: iPhone 5 Release Date, Specs, News & Rumors

iPhone 5 Release Date

As leaks kick up, we assume Apple is nearing the start of iPhone 5 production, which would line up with the expected fall iPhone 5 release date.

Our best guess is that Apple will release the next iPhone in October, mirroring the iPhone 4S launch, though some rumors suggest Apple could launch it in August or September.

Whenever Apple releases the iPhone 5, it might be Apple’s biggest mobile launch ever.



  1. Ferry Kagchèl

    07/12/2012 at 10:52 am

    4-inch is in my opinion to small to really compete with the Android.

    • nenad

      07/25/2012 at 11:23 am

      you are getting it wrong. apple will never compete with android or anybody else,they will do what they think is good and better product. and they are doing it good,because people loves apple products.

  2. Anonymous

    07/12/2012 at 11:14 am

    It’s not all about screen size. We’re talking about a phone here. Any larger and it wouldn’t be a phone anymore.

  3. Anonymous

    07/12/2012 at 11:23 am

    If you want a larger screen phone, why not look for a mini tablet and get a phone app to use as a phone? That would be ridiculous. Imagine everyone holding tablets against their face to talk. It’s not even possible and it would look really stupid.

    • John

      07/16/2012 at 9:37 am

      Ever hear of Bluetooth? You wouldn’t need to hold the tablet to your ear you idiot, keep it in a back pack or something and use the wireless headset

      • SteveS

        07/18/2012 at 1:55 am

        Yeah because take-up of bluetooth headsets has been really good, right ? Everyone loves looking like a complete dick wearing one. Idiot.

  4. dj

    07/13/2012 at 2:51 pm

    I-sheep Fanboys (lol). Anything above 5 inches is too big, but 4 inches is is just too small! Follow the I-zombies into the fire while I enjoy my far superior android phone. Fact, technically, my Galaxy is superior!!! In my opinion the I5 renders are just plain ugly!!!

  5. MWP

    07/13/2012 at 2:53 pm

    Why change the connection? Small may be good, but it creates a whole new market sector for converters between the apple standard connector and the new smaller apple standard connector. Groan….

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