iPhone 5 Speculation Based on an Exclusive Two Year-old Prototype Tip
During the months preceding the launch of the iPhone 3GS, a tip was received from a trusted source about an iPhone prototype that Apple was hard at work developing and testing. At the time, it seemed like it was not worth publishing details since there was little to verify whether the report was specious.
Soon after the tip regarding a new iPhone prototype was shared with us, one of the features that the tip mentioned Apple was working on turned up in a patent filing. A feature that would allow users to share media in-call was described in detail, and the aforementioned patent reveals how that was actually being worked on, but we have yet to see it come to fruition.
A front dominated by a large screen, this particular prototype had a screen size of 3.8″, was assumedly one of the stand-out things on the prototype iPhone. With almost nonexistent black borders, the prototype had no visible home button or front speaker. The home button was removed from the front to become a new button on the side of the iPhone. Even crazier, Apple was apparently experimenting with placing a speaker underneath the glass on the front of the device.
Due to the addition of the FaceTime camera on the iPhone 4, it is unlikely that Apple would still desire placing a speaker underneath the front glass since the FaceTime camera needs a top black bezel to fit adequately. Apple would surely experiment with different sizes and form factors, so the display may be any size that would work nicely in a device with smaller borders around the screen and dimensions similar to that of the iPhone 4; likely between 3.8″ and 4.3″.
The reason we decided to report on this tip now is because it coincides with new rumors about the next-generation iPhone, particularly how others are claiming that the next iPhone will have a larger screen. While it has to be stressed that this is a two year-old tip, it seems plausible that Apple may have further developed the prototype detailed and used it as the basis for the fifth-generation iPhone, if other recent reports are to be believed. It is also plausible that nothing that the tip mentions will come to fruition, especially considering its age. This was finally published for discussion more so than for the minuscule possibility that the prototype is in fact anything like the next iPhone.
I think Apple would wait at least another year before releasing an iPhone that is drastically different from previous models since they released what was arguably the most radically new iPhone just last summer. App developers would have to make significant optimizations to their apps again to make use of the larger screen (and likely increased resolution, Apple would not give up the highly-praised Retina Display pixel density) after many are just finishing adding full Retina Display support, which would make recent app updates seem outdated. Of course I do not know for sure what the next iPhone will be like, but I would expect upgraded internal hardware at the least. The possibilities are endless, and Apple certainly demonstrates that behind closed doors with a presumably wide variety of mock-ups and prototypes.