Established Apple site 9to5Mac revealed a leaked image of what is claimed to be the iPhone 5, and the site, which has a good record for reporting accurate leaks from Apple, has a plethora of details about the new model.
For the first time, the iPhone shakes off the 3.5inch screen-size, bowing to the latest generation of Android smartphones, which over the course of the last two years have shifted the typical screen from three-to up to four or even five inches.
With Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference due in San Fransisco on Monday, June 11, iPhone fans are hoping to get either a glimpse or a confirmed release date in just a few weeks.
9to5Mac estimates the new screen size at a very specific 3.999inches, with a resolution of 1136×640, giving the screen the “Retina”-like feel of the new iPad.
There appears to be a choice of colors – a black model and a white model – as has been the case with the last few models of iPhone.
Other hints given away by the photo – and more are available at 9to5Mac – are that Apple has redesigned the dock connector to be smaller.
This may end up making older accessories – from charger cables to speaker docks – incompatible, but there will likely be adapters released to ensure older accessories still work.
Speaking of compatibility, developers may need to update their apps to take advantage of the larger size, or there may be a situation similar to when the first iPad was launched, when iPhone apps would appear with a big black border around the age.
The iPhone 4S was released in October last year, and Apple is expected to follow suit with an Autumn launch this year – although, as ever, the company is staying notoriously tight-lipped.
Following the death of co-founder Steve Jobs last year, new CEO Tim Cook will lead the WDC conference this year, to the gathered developers about the future of Apple, upcoming products and changes to both Mac software software and iOS, the mobile version of Apple’s operating system.
Two weeks ago Apple registered the iPhone5.com domain name, amid rumors that the next model is the final model approved by Steve Jobs.
Bloomberg cited a source “with knowledge of the plans” surrounding the new iPhone who claimed that Steve Jobs played a key role in the development of the device, even while on medical leave from his company.
A shakeup in the design of a larger-screen iPhone could go a long way in boosting its “wow” factor, convincing fans to trade in their old iPhones for new ones, said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee.
“Not only do users pay for features, but they also pay for aesthetics and design.
“That’s as important, or more important, than features,” Shaw Wu said.
“People love the current design – but it’s 18 months old.”
With the release of Android devices such as the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3, packing quad-core processors and almost five-inch screens, the impetus lies with Apple to innovate and revolutionize the market once more.