Don’t Shed A Tear For The Teardrop-Shaped “iPhone 5”
Just a quick note regarding Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iPod hardware updates.
The world has been completely consumed by iPhone 5 rumors for the past few months. We’ve been following them just like you have, but the reports have been so crazy that other publications have been e-mailing us to ask what we think is happening. Since we’re sharing our thoughts with them, we wanted to share them with you, too.
1. Why are the “iPhone 5 cases” making the rounds right now so different from one another in size? From what we’ve heard, a number of companies created these cases based on mockup images that were circulated around the Internet—not based on actual iPhone 5 bodies. They represent guesses as to the device’s size and shape, and most (maybe all) of them will not actually fit the next iPhone. Developers are split on whether the teardrop-tapered polished metal represents the design of a next-generation iPod touch, an iPhone, or wishful thinking.
2. What will the actual iPhone 5 look like? Several things about the mockups don’t make a ton of sense. iPhone antennas would have trouble with an all-metal device back. Dramatic slenderizing ahead of the impending (2011 or 2012) addition of LTE would be surprising—not impossible, just surprising. And similarly, thinning the iPhone at the same time as it gets a larger screen would be unusual. While all of these things are conceivable—and apart from resulting battery life problems, quite desirable—Apple could more easily stuff new components into an old enclosure, and wait until next year for a big body change. There’s obviously precedent for that.
Based on what we’ve heard, actual rear body shells for the iPhone 5 are not circulating in the way that they would have if a new body design was just around the corner. What has been circulating is a revised iPhone 4 body frame that combines the prior GSM and CDMA frames into one part. It seems highly likely that this and some flat glass will be at the heart of at least one new iPhone model. The iPod touch could be getting little more than internal tweaks and a white color option. Or it could be making a radical evolution into that teardrop-shaped casing. No one’s really sure.
3. So what happens if I buy an iPhone 5 case that doesn’t fit? You’re stuck with it. The companies making these early cases are doing so to keep their production lines moving during an otherwise slow time. They don’t particularly care whether the cases fit or not. It’s a business gamble, sort of like putting $400 on a longshot horse hoping to make $5,000 or more if it wins. If you go out and buy an iPhone 5 case right now, when no device has been announced, that’s your money to lose if the bet doesn’t pay off.
Our advice would be to hold off on making any case purchases for the time being. The new iPhone and iPod launches are only weeks off at this point, and for now, the best idea would be to wait and see what Apple’s magicians pull out of their hats on stage.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple files lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of withholding patent royalties
- Apple releases updated iOS Developer Design Resources
- Apple’s exclusive audiobook deal with Audible ends in Europe following EU antitrust scrutiny
- Nintendo officially announces Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS, coming Feb. 2
- Rumor: Apple working on second-generation Apple Pencil
- GarageBand 2.2 adds Logic Pro X integration, Alchemy synth, Multi-Take Recording
- FTC files complaint against Qualcomm citing royalty deal with Apple
- India mulling manufacturing regulation changes which could woo Apple
- Apple Music creative team discusses the service’s exclusives, future
- Apple raising UK App Store prices by more than 25 percent
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10