New photos claiming to show a silicone case for the next-generation iPhone and a lighter, cheaper iPhone 4 prototype have appeared online. 9 to 5 Mac reports that the case photos point to complete redesign for Apple’s next-generation handset, with a thinner profile than the iPhone 4, and a slightly curved back reminiscent of the fourth-generation iPod touch. Notably, the case photos match a similar purported iPhone 5 case photo sent to iLounge by an OEM manufacturer earlier this week.
A separate batch of photos posted to the Vietnam-based site Tinhte supposedly depict a prototype iPhone 4 built with different materials as a cost-cutting measure. AppleInsider reports that the original poster claims the photos are from a “very reliable source,” and that the device depicted looks “Exactly” like the white iPhone 4, despite having its front and back glass panels “replaced by two plastic sheets.” The model number and other identification numbers on the rear of the device are X’ed out—common in prototype units—but the lone photo of the front of the device shows it to be jailbroken, and provides no clue as to what OS might be running on the device.
Notably, Cult of Mac claims that the device in the latter group of pictures is simply a standard iPhone 4 with a “poor quality white iPhone 4 conversion kit” installed.