Latest iPhone 5 Rumors Are All About Shape

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If you don’t believe that the tech-consuming public could ever be so fixated on shapes and sizes, you need only look to the latest batch of iPhone 5 rumors.

First, we have a report from 9 to 5 Mac of an Apple employee supposedly playing around with the iPhone 5 on a train, complete with grainy photos snapped by a tipster. Apparently the tipster knows his iPhones and didn’t recognize this one, even if the photos "didn’t do it justice." He believes the phone would fit perfectly into the cases that 9 to 5 Mac had previously written about, showing a thinner, tapered design.

(MORE: 35% Will Buy iPhone 5 No Matter What—Will You?)

Speaking of cases, the next rumor comes from a site called MobileFun, which claims to have a design document and a mockup of iPhone 5 cases. The document calls for a 4-inch screen without much of a change to the phone’s overall size, along with a home button that’s sensitive to gesture commands. The volume buttons also appear to be moved to the left side of the phone, appearing more toward the center of the handset.

Normally, I’d love to pour some salt on these rumors. After all, it seems highly unlikely that Apple would let one of its employees use the actual iPhone 5 on a train, in plain sight, in light of last year’s stolen iPhone 4 debacle. As for the iPhone 5 cases, these things show up on random tech blogs all the time: iPhone 5 case rumors go back as early as March.

But at this point, the iPhone 5 rumor mill has become so saturated that there’s not much to debunk. Thinner, lighter design? We’ve heard that elsewhere. Bigger screen? Ditto. Gesture-based home screen? Absolutely. Throw these latest two iPhone 5 rumors on the pile and paint yourself a vague picture of the handset if it helps you sleep at night.

As for when this mythical beast will arrive, all odds are still on September.

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