iPhone 5 rumor release: Features, Verizon, new antenna, sexy back

Here we go again, with another round of iPhone 5 rumors. Factory insiders from China say Apple has reworked the back panel: instead of glass it now has an aluminum unibody. Ive also got rid of the inadvisable side-mounted antenna. Release date still slated for July 2011.

White iPhone 4 (williamhook @ flickr)
By Richi Jennings. March 8, 2011.

Yes, it's Apple iPhone 5 rumor time again, friends. We've got news about a new antenna design -- for AT&T and Verizon. Also features such as an aluminum back, the A5 SoC, and "confirmation" of a June or July 2011 release date. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers brace for a springtime of leaks, trolls, and fanboi fantasies.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Error'd: Confusing Multiples...


Yoni Heisler keeps his i on that Phone, now that iPad 2 is a known quantity:

It's time to start focusing on ... the iPhone 5. Over the past few months ... the rumors that have surfaced are quite intriguing. From an NFC capable device to an entirely new form factor with a 4-inch screen, Apple appears to have something big in the works come June. Indeed ... [media that] Apple often uses to 'leak' information ... intimate that the iPhone 5 will be a significant departure.


Taiwanese-based Economic Daily News relays that Apple will ... opt for an aluminum casing, much like the original iPhone. ... Also slated to appear ... is the speedy A5 chip Apple showcased in the iPad 2. ... The iPhone 5 antenna will be redesigned and will be located behind the Apple logo on the back.

  John Brownlee damns Apple with faint praise:

Although the results are undeniably gorgeous, Apple’s decision to switch from the 3GS’s plastic back to a glass one for the iPhone 4 has been disastrous. ... Apple had to put out the fires on “Glassgate” shortly after the fiasco of Antennagate thanks to the the glass backing’s tendency to crack.


Cupertino ditched aluminum in the iPhone 3G because of wireless and cellular connectivity issues, but it’s thought that advances in antenna design might have mitigated the connectivity drawbacks. ... Apple’s reasons ... go deeper. ... The glass-backing on the iPhone 4 also makes the phone considerably heavier.

Kit Eaton asks, "Does this rumor make good sense?"

Remember back ... to 2007. A full 100% unibody aluminum chassis eluded the designers because of the antenna design ... resulting in a slightly inelegant black plastic portion for radio transparency. ... [This is] according to Chinese source Economic Daily News, which has had some success in revealing Apple's future plans in advance.


A reinvention of the iPhone 5 makes sense--Apple may well have ... redirected the phone's design ... that could probably roll off the same production lines as the all-aluminum chassis of the iPad and Macs do ... possibly enabling the rumored "cheap iPhone".


If Apple does ... learn these design lessons ... the answer to any question like "Did you get the iPhone 4 wrong?" will be "bite my shiny metal butt!"

Chris Ullrich agrees:

It’s not hard to believe that ... Apple ... will take a design cue from the rest of its lineup ... and change to next gen iPhone to more match the look and feel of its latest iPad and MacBook Air. Whatever they do, let’s hope it works.

Bryan Chaffin wants to believe:

The report, which was attributed to a source in Apple’s OEM chain in China, is in sync with other reports that Apple plans to abandon the iPhone 4 form factor, in part to address issues ... with the device’s use of an external antenna.

But Mark Romano calls the rumor "tenuous":

Generally, when a person is holding a cellphone, most of the rear panel of the device ... is completely covered with the person’s hand, which is not terribly conducive to high quality cellular reception. ... Apple would likely not revert to a design that would hamper or reduce cellular reception.


Sadly, and despite the fact that a brushed aluminum rear panel would look fantastic on the iPhone 5, we’re a little skeptical of this story.

   Meanwhile, Taylor Martin strives for completeness:

Let's not forget that we've also heard talk of a hardware keyboard and a cheaper iPhone, too. Neither of these things sound too much like something Apple would do. So ... keep a couple tablespoons of salt on hand for all of the ... iPhone rumors ahead. There are bound to be plenty.


Here's hoping for another crazy year of Apple rumors and leaks.


And Finally...

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Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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