In the past few days, several images have come to light that might reveal the appearance of Apple's next-generation smartphone. One of these could be the first picture of the iPhone 5 "in the wild".
Apple is widely expected to introduce its fifth-generation smartphone in September, and its employees are apparently already testing it out. Someone using an unknown device with the Apple logo on it was spotted on a train in San Francisco, and the result is the spy image at right.
More Design Clues
With the launch of the iPhone 5 drawing closer, accessory makers are starting work on the designs for this new smartphone. As Apple has supposedly redesigned this product once again, these companies are going to need to know what the new shape is going to be. What is allegedly the outline they have been given to work from has leaked out.
If this is real, it shows a number of changes, one of the most obvious of which is a significantly larger Home button. An unconfirmed report from earlier this year indicated that the size increase is happening because Apple is going to turn this into a gesture area.
In addition, the leaked rendering appears to show that the iPhone 5 will have a larger screen. How much larger isn't clear, but the bezel on either side of the display is much thinner than on the current version of this smartphone.
Also, the back of this handset is shown as being thicker at the top than at the bottom, which will likely give the impression that the overall design is very thin when held in the hand.
Apple has kept quiet about the iPhone 5, stopping short of ever even mentioning its existence, so there's currently no way to tell if these images are hoaxes or legitimate. However, Apple has proved itself in the past to be as fallible as any other company when it comes to keeping secrets, despite its best efforts. The most notable example of this happened last year, when a prototype iPhone 4 was found and extensively photographed months before the official release.
Previous reports have helped fill in some of the other details of the next iPhone. It will supposedly include an 8-megapixel camera and use the Apple A5 dual-core processor. And it will undoubtedly launch running iOS 5, which has already been formally announced.
The iPhone 5 will reportedly be released by AT&T and Verizon in September. Some analysts have predicted that Sprint and T-Mobile will also be offering it, in a significant widening of the availability of Apple smartphones.
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