We have even more images of what is believed to be the next-generation iPhone, courtesy of Mark Gurman for 9to5Mac. These high-resolution photos reveal several rumors that we have already heard about Apple’s upcoming iPhone, including a smaller dock connector, metal plate backing, and a seemingly thinner design with a chassis intended for a larger display.
There are also some unexpected changes that are present on these prototype next-generation iPhone casings, including the headphone jack being moved to the bottom right for the first time ever, redesigned speaker grills, and possibly a second microphone on the back of the handset. Gurman explains the reasoning for the back metal casing…
From a production standpoint, it appears that the metal antenna band is molded into the metal backplates. We assume this is Apple’s way of creating a unibody enclosure for mobile devices. Apple introduced unibody notebooks in late 2008, and the purpose of the unibody is to allow Apple to produce thinner and lighter, yet stronger, devices. Now that most of the phone’s external elements are one piece, Apple is likely able to squeeze more into the iPhone internally. Apple needs all the space they can get with their plans of producing LTE smartphones with proper battery life.
Gurman expects the new iPhone, which is rumored to be LTE capable, to launch in the Fall alongside the release of iOS 6. A select few other rumors have suggested that Apple might launch the so-called “iPhone 5″ before then, such as at WWDC this June, but the Fall timeline seems more reasonable since it lines up nicely with the current iPhone refresh cycle and holiday shopping season.