The iPhone 4S shares the same shape as the iPhone 4, pictured here. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com
Take it with a big, fat grain of salt, but an unconfirmed report says Apple might release the iPhone 5 as early as this summer. iPhone models have typically been released in June, though the iPhone 4S broke tradition with an October 2011 release.
9to5Mac reports that a source at device manufacturer Foxconn says Apple’s next iPhone is currently ready for production, and a few sample handsets — each slightly different from one another — are floating around the factory.
The Foxconn source says that all of these potential iPhone 5s have a few things in common: a display 4 inches or larger; a longer and wider symmetrical shape (contradicting last summer’s rumors of an asymmetrical teardrop design); and a non-iPhone 4/4S form.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber calls bunk on this.
Longer and wider? Sounds like bullshit. I can see Apple putting a bigger display on a device of the same size. I can’t see them making a bigger device.
9to5Mac has a hit-and-miss track record when it comes to rumors. Shortly before the 4S debuted, the blog correctly reported that the phone would feature a voice-powered virtual assistant, but got a few details, like Siri’s name, wrong. Reports that the next iPhone could have a flat metal back (also from 9to5Mac) have persisted off and on since before the 4S debuted.
Personally, I’m inclined to go with Gruber on this one. Of all the phones I’ve tested, the iPhone’s current form factor and screen size is just the most natural fit for my hand (although there are others, like the Nokia Lumia series, that come close). Although I wouldn’t completely rule out Apple making a larger handset, I think it’s more likely that the new display will extend edge-to-edge on a device the same size of the current iPhone 4 and 4S.
But I guess we’ll find out for sure come June. Or October. Or whenever the next iPhone debuts. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Apple likes to keep us on our toes.