A part claimed to be the back plate and sides of the next-generation iPhone has appeared online. 9to5Mac has posted a photo from iPhone repair shop iFixyouri, showing a part that closely matches prior artist renderings posted by iLounge in our next-gen iPhone specs report. Most notably, the back plate does in fact show an aluminum plate taking up the majority of the rear of the phone, with what are presumed to be glass panels at the top and bottom; the Dock Connector also appears to be smaller and closer to a pill shape, as we previously reported.
The housing also shows several other notable changes from the current iPhone design. Apple has separated the rear camera sensor and LED flash further, adding what appears to be a secondary microphone hole between them, and the headphone port appears to have been moved to the bottom left hand corner—with the device facing display-up—now sitting alongside a series of holes that serve as the access vents for the main microphone. On the opposite side of the bottom are a larger number of dots for the main speaker, which the report claims will be louder and of higher quality than the current model. The report also claims that black and white won’t be the only colors available this year, however, there is a chance that these other colored parts will not make it into production; similar reports regarding a red variation of the iPhone 3G/3GS were not followed by actual releases.
Update: More photos showing a white-ended back plate have been posted by Engadget. The white part seems to be generally identical to the black part seen earlier, save for the color.
Update x2: 9to5Mac has posted a number of new, more detailed photos show both black and white parts. The aluminum back plates and metal sides of the parts appear to correspond to the glass color, with the black model receiving a gunmetal-tinted plate and sides, while the white model appears to have metal of a more traditional, silver shade. In addition, the new photos suggest that the next-generation iPhone will incorporate the same Micro-SIM standard as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, and a shot showing a purported black front plate suggests that the front-facing camera will move from its current position on the left-hand side of the main speaker hole to a spot centered above it.