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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
120 months ago
Was hoping for a new form factor for the iPhone 5.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
I personally think it is Steve Jobs new hobby. To sit around all day manipulating photos of old prototypes...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
I need a new design, something to at least "spice" it up a bit.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...