New Photos Indicate Previously-Thought NFC Chip in iPhone 5 is Earpiece Speaker
Late last month, Japanese blog Mac Otakara sparked particular interest in a set of photos of an assembled front panel from the iPhone 5 by claiming that a square feature near the top of the part was likely to be related to near field communications (NFC) capabilities. That interest was quickly tamped down when The Loop reported later in the week that there would be no NFC in the iPhone 5.
Despite the fact that the square feature is slightly off-center with respect to the device, we've assumed that it must be the earpiece speaker, and consultations with experts at RepairLabs have suggested the same.
Assembled front panel with earpiece bracket removed – bracket and speaker at right
Sonny Dickson has now posted a new set of photos of the assembled front panel that shed some additional light on the situation. A couple of the photos show the square bracket having been removed, and one photo in particular contains a partial view of what does indeed appear to be an earpiece speaker.
Closeup of front panel with bracket and speaker removed and front camera folded back
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 5 at next Wednesday's media event.