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iPhone N94 Prototype Back Cover - Is This Actually the iPhone 5?

Right on the heels of our "iPhone 4S" antenna photos, comes even more pieces to the puzzle. This image from MacPost.net offers the first look at the back cover of an upcoming iPhone. This prototype part is labeled "EVT" (Engineering Verification Test) and dated June 7, 2011.


What's most revealing about this part is that it is actually labeled with the internal model number "N94". N94 is the model number for what we believe to be a next-generation iPhone. N94 first appeared in SDK code back in iOS 4.3. At the time, the N94 was identified as supporting an A5 processor -- that's the same processor found in the iPad 2.

Meanwhile, the AT&T iPhone 4 carries the model designation N90 while the Verizon iPhone 4 is called the N92. Both current iPhone 4 models use the slower A4 processor.

We also heard about the N94 in April when BGR claimed that it had a photo of a prototype N94 that supported T-Mobile's 3G service. They showed photos of the device at the time. What's interesting to note now is that as best as we can tell, that prototype iPhone had a visible antenna break at the bottom left, and no antenna break in the top left -- just like the iPhone 4, but also just like the leaked antenna parts we posted yesterday. (Unfortunately, the other side of the device is not visible in any of the shots.)

So, here's what we think we know about the N94, based on the circulating rumors

• It looks like an iPhone 4
• Has a redesigned antenna
• Supports T-Mobile
• A5 Processor

So is the N94 the actual iPhone 5? Possibly. MacPost also published photos of associated parts which include items we've seen before. These have been labeled as "iPhone 5" parts in the past, but now seem to be associated with this particular case design. That means all the part leaks we've seen so far are for this iPhone 4-like design. If so, Reuters may have been right in saying that the iPhone 5 will look "largely similar to the iPhone 4". Could this be the cheaper iPhone 4 variant? Also possible, but that would mean Apple would be supplying A5 processors in their "cheap" version as well.

What of the tapered iPhone 5 designs that we've seen circulating? Those were sourced from a ThisIsMyNext article and subsequent case design leak and actual cases for sale. As we've said before, Chinese case manufacturers have a big financial incentive to get case designs ahead of Apple's launch, but they've been wrong before. As far as we can tell, we've not seen any actual part leaks from that rumored thinner/tapered design.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

43 months ago
Was hoping for a new form factor for the iPhone 5.
Rating: 15 Votes
43 months ago
2009
8 GB iPhone 3G - 99$
16 GB iPhone 3GS - 199$
32 GB iPhone 3GS - 299$

2010
8 GB iPhone 3GS - 99$
16 GB iPhone 4 - 199$
32 GB iPhone 4 - 299$

Considering that, why would anyone believe the following won't be what happens :

2011
8 (or 16) GB iPhone 4 - 99$
16 (or 32) GB iPhone 5 - 199$
32 (or 64) GB iPhone 5 - 299$

Remember guys : Everytime we over think an Apple product refresh, everyone is let down by how little Apple actually changed.
Rating: 14 Votes
43 months ago
If iOS5 runs fine on my iPhone 4, then I'm really not that interested in upgrading to the iPhone 5 if the design remains basically the same.

I'd be more than happy to jump on board if the redesign rumours turn out to be true though.
Rating: 13 Votes
43 months ago
I personally think it is Steve Jobs new hobby. To sit around all day manipulating photos of old prototypes...
Rating: 12 Votes
43 months ago

I love a phone that shatters both the front and back when you drop it. Glass construction all the way. :rolleyes:

I refuse to believe Apple would be so stupid as to continue with an industrial design that's received, by Apple standards, incredible amounts of negative press between Antenna gate and the scores of reports of back shatters on small drops.


So much negative press that it became the best selling phone this year.
Rating: 11 Votes
43 months ago
I need a new design, something to at least "spice" it up a bit.
Rating: 9 Votes
43 months ago
I'm not sure what Apple's about.

They can't possibly afford to re-release the same model but slightly different. The competition has come too far for Apple to just sit back and play it safe. This is either the 4S or an early iPhone 5 prototype but I refuse to believe the next iPhone will simply be a small update.
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
Haven't heard squat about storage in all the iphone 5 rumors. I WANT A 64GB iPHONE!!!
Rating: 7 Votes
43 months ago
don't your facts just point to the idea that this is just the rumored tmobile variant of the cheaper iphone 4s?
Rating: 6 Votes
43 months ago
Please stop saying it will have a plastic screen. NO iPhone will have a plastic screen, a plastic back maybe, but a screen?!
Rating: 6 Votes

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