What do we have here? It’s the backside of Apple’s next iPhone, at least according to 9to5Mac’s supply chain sources.
The image shows a smaller bezel on the top and bottom of the phone, possibly to make room for that 4-inch screen we’ve been hearing about. As 9to5Mac previously reported — also based on unnamed sources — the next iPhone will have a 3.99-inch display with 1136-by-640 resolution, so the screen will be taller than that of previous iPhones, but no wider. The leaked image shows that Apple could get that extra space from the bezel, so the phone itself won’t be much taller.
A few other interesting tidbits from the image: The iPhone’s back panel is covered with metal instead of glass, the headphone jack has relocated to the bottom side of the device and the dock connector is much smaller (yet another thing we’ve heard about before).
9to5Mac also notes that the metal antenna around the sides of the device is molded into the backplates. That, along with the smaller dock connector, could leave more room inside for a bigger battery, which Apple would need if the next iPhone will support 4G LTE networks.
On the same day as this leak, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at the All Things Digital conference, and seemed to hint at a new iPhone design: “There’s not a policy or commandment that says ‘Thou shalt have One’,” Cook said. “If we find that we can do more, great.”
Then again, Cook also exalted Apple’s ability to avoid fragmentation: “We have one phone with one screen size, one resolution,” he said. “So it’s pretty simple if you’re a developer.” If Apple introduced a new screen resolution for the next iPhone, it would mean more work for app makers.
Cook also said Apple was going to crack down on leaks. “We’re going to double down on secrecy,” Cook said. “I’m very serious about this. Double down.”
Seeing as even the juiciest rumors have lost their sense of excitement, Cook may be too late for this iPhone product cycle.