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.
- Japan Display vying to be Apple’s primary display supplier (Update: new plant confirmed)
- Apple comes to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will replace AT&T
- Apple extends iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program
- Revamped Apple music service not coming until WWDC; new Apple TV later this year?
- Larger iPad production delayed until later this year, USB 3.0 ports to be added?
- Apple, others likely to reach $415M settlement in poaching lawsuit (Update: settlement approved)
- Apple and HBO in talks for ‘HBO Now’ service launch
- Report: Next-gen ‘iPhone 6s’ to feature 2GB RAM, Apple SIM
- Apple looking to settle with electric car battery company
- Apple pushing out fix next week for ‘FREAK’ security flaw
- Gumdrop Cases Drop Tech Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Uniq Aircraft+ for iPhone 6
- Speck MightyShell + Faceplate for iPhone 6 Plus
- Mobile Home Siri remote
- Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 Lens, Telephoto + CPL Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- ExoLens Professional Photography System for iPhone 6
- Incipio offGRID Shine for iPhone 6
- Seidio Obex for iPhone 6
- RooCase GlacialTough for iPhone 6 Plus, VersaTough for iPhone 6 + 6 Plus
- CM4 Q Card Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Can I transfer the existing version of an app to my new iPhone?
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?
- How do I consolidate iTunes purchases into a single account?
- How can I more easily Handoff a web page from my Mac to my iPhone?