Whether you call it the “iPhone 5,” the “iPhone 6,” or the “iPhone 4G”—well, maybe not the last one thanks to international regulators—the new iPhone is coming this fall, and we have some details to share. They match and expand upon details we received back in March, suggesting that Apple is abandoning the long-rumored “teardrop-shaped iPhone 5” in favor of another glass-bodied design.
What we’ve learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm—a 10mm jump in height, nearly 2mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width. According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone. This panel will be flat, not curved, and metal, not ceramic. Our artist’s rendition provides a rough idea of what this change will look like; it echoes the current-generation iMac design, to be sure.
Note that the new iPhone is expected to be made partially from Gorilla Glass 2, which can be manufactured thinner with identical strength to the earlier iPhones’ Gorilla Glass, or at the same thickness with greater strength. The change in height will include a lengthening of the prior 3.5” screen to roughly 4” on the diagonal. As the new iPhone won’t widen, this appears to confirm that Apple will change the new iPhone’s aspect ratio for the first time since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007, adding additional pixels to the top and bottom of the screen. A change of this sort took place between the fourth and fifth generations of the iPod nano, but didn’t impact any third-party software. This obviously will.
Apple will also introduce its new Dock Connector on the new iPhone. The new port will be a little larger than the bottom speaker or microphone hole on the iPhone 4/4S. It’s believed to have fewer pins than the prior 30-pin Dock Connector, perhaps only 16, and the shape of the hole is apparently closer to a pill shape than the prior rounded rectangle. It will be used on all upcoming devices, including an update to the iPod touch that’s expected this year, and will almost certainly feature a similarly updated screen and CPU. Will Apple call it the “new iPod touch,” just like the “new iPad,” and most likely, the “new iPhone?” Or is it finally time to just call it the “new iPod?”