A purported engineering sample of the next-generation iPhone. Photo: GottaBeMobile
As Apple’s fall product event looms ever closer, more details about the company’s upcoming mobile devices could possibly be leaking out. The latest revelations are purported images of iPhone 5 and iPad mini engineering samples, reportedly “straight from a factory in China.” The blog GottaBeMobile says it received the photos from a supply chain source.
The iPhone engineering sample in the images does seem to line up with the specs that various news outlets are reporting for Apple’s next smartphone. The next iPhone is expected to sport a 4-inch display and a “new, sleek look.” It could also feature a chassis largely composed of an interesting metal alloy called liquidmetal.
The engineering samples show the next iPhone being approximately 4.72 inches long and 2.3 inches wide — the same width as the current iPhone 4 and 4S, but about 0.2 inches longer. Aesthetically, the sample in the new image looks very similar to what was seen in a video of the alleged rear cover of the next iPhone, which emerged in early June.
“I think the iPhone 5 is going to be one of the biggest consumer events we’ve ever seen in our lifetime,” Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney told Wired. “There are so many people waiting for the device, wanting the 4-inch screen and 4G.” Indeed, if Apple can deliver a longer, taller iPhone (the new phone’s width notwithstanding), the company could increase its diagonal screen dimensions from 3.5 inches to 4 inches.
As for the iPad mini, it’s been rumored to be in existence in one form or another since before the first iPad was unveiled. The mysterious tablet will reportedly feature a 7.85 inch display and be priced competitively with Android-based ‘tweeners like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.
The photo of the purported engineering sample (see below) shows a device that’s 7.3 inches wide, 9.5 inches long, and slightly thinner than the current iPad at just under 0.4 inches thick. It also has speakers on either side of the dock connector, an interesting design point given that current iPad models all feature a single, slightly rear-facing speaker.
Both prototypes feature the rumored smaller 19-pin dock connector instead of the 30-pin dock connector we currently see on iPhones, iPads, and iPods.