New rumors emerged this morning once again suggesting that Apple was moving away from using glass rear panels in the next generation iPhone 5 and back to the metal panels seen in the first iPhone. The information comes via 9to5Mac who say that a source speaking to them from Foxconn, where the iPhones are assembled, has seen the next generation iPhone as it moves into general production.
The new iPhone is apparently similar in shape to the current generation iPhone 4 although it has a larger screen as previously rumored as well as what appears to be an aluminum, flat rear panel as shown in the image above (which is an iPhone 4 with a metal cover on it, not an iPhone 5), bringing brushed aluminum as a unifed design across much of the Apple product line-up.
We have to admit, when rumors of an aluminum rear panel in the next generation iPhone first emerged, we were pretty skeptical that Apple would revert to this design, especially given that they had ceased to use metal panels in the iPhone 3G as they tended to interfere with wireless signals. However, now that Apple has moved to using the frame of the iPhone 4 as the external antenna, this may prove to overcome the limitations of using a metal rear panel. In any case, it would likely make the iPhone a little more resistant to scratching.
The larger screen size that was reported by the source at Foxconn correlates with the apparent leak of technical drawings of the iPhone 5 which appeared last week. Now that the rumors of an iPhone 5 with a larger screen are gaining traction, it will be interesting to see how this will affect the display. Will developers have to make changes to their apps to accomodate the larger screen or will Apple increase the screen size but decrease the number of pixels per inch so that the resolution remains the same. If so, how would this affect the highly touted ‘Retina Display’?
Putting aside all questions of wireless reception issues, an aluminum rear panel would look fantastic.
Image Credit: SlickWraps.com