Next-Generation iPhone to Offer Touch-Sensitive Casing?

In an interesting twist as fourth-generation iPhone rumors begin to gather steam in the new year, Bloomberg cites Goldman Sachs analyst Robert Chen, who predicts that Apple's next iPhone may take some cues from the company's new multi-touch Magic Mouse and incorporate a touch-sensitive casing in addition to the traditional touchscreen.

Magic Mouse, a computer mouse released in October, has a touch-sensitive solid plastic shell that replaces mechanical buttons. The technology may be replicated in the new iPhone to offer touch-sensitive features on the rear of the handset, Chen said.

No evidence for Chen's claim is given beyond the citing of an unidentified source, however, and no specific suggestions of how the touch sensitivity might be utilized are offered.

Chen also claims that the new iPhone will make an appearance "as early as June" and will offer a 5-megapixel camera, up from the 3.2-megapixel camera found in the iPhone 3GS. A report late last month indicated that Apple had in fact placed orders for 5-megapixel camera sensors for the new iPhone, with another claim last week suggesting that Apple is looking to add an LED flash to the iPhone's camera capabilities.

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