Next-generation iPhones likely to focus on internal improvements.
Purported iPhone 5 Cases Suggest Nearly Identical Form Factor to iPhone 4
Hardmac posts a promotional image for cases claimed to be designed to fit the fifth-generation iPhone. If accurate, the design seems to suggest little change in the form factor and placement of physical features relative to the iPhone 4.
Supporting the idea of nearly identical form factors for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 are cases that have also appeared on the sites of other vendors with specs noting that they are for both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5.
Case designs have been rather hit and miss over the years when it comes to revealing details of future Apple product releases, although they appear to be becoming more accurate recently, most notably with the second-generation iPad.
Mockup of iPhone 5 with larger screen (Credit: bikr)
The new cases appear following the posting of claimed "engineering drawings" of the iPhone 5 last week appearing to show an essentially identical form factor compared to the iPhone 4, with the exception of a larger edge-to-edge screen, consistent with a front plate posted on the same site several weeks earlier.
As long ago as early January, photos and video of what was claimed to be the stainless steel antenna band from either a fifth-generation iPhone or a CDMA iPhone 4 surfaced through a parts supplier. While the antenna design and slight shift in the placement of several physical features seen on that part did turn up very soon after in the CDMA iPhone 4, the part in question also contained a SIM-card slot that is not needed or present on the CDMA iPhone 4. Consequently, it seems likely that the part may be a genuine fifth-generation iPhone part using almost the exact same design as the iPhone 4.