iPhone 5 case moldings purport to show new iPhone design

Schematics and actual case moldings for the iPhone 5, if accurate, suggest a new iPhone design is on the way

Is this the iPhone 5 case?

It's hard to say, but the above case schematic for the iPhone 5 surfaced earlier this week courtesy of MobileFun.

The schematics, if accurate, indicate that Apple's next-gen iPhone will have a larger screen thanks to a shrunken bezel along with a larger home button.

Another interesting point is the curvature of the iPhone 5. After going with a squared construction on the iPhone 4, Apple seem to have reverted to their curvaceous ways. The iPhone 5′s rear panel curves gently back around its edges, much like the iPhone 3G.

This likely means that the back will be metal, and could serve as a replacement for the iPhone 4′s unique side antennae which seemed revolutionary at the time, but caused so much trouble with call droppage last year.

Interesting, though rumors of what the iPhone 5's form factor will be have oscillated quite consistently over the past few weeks. Initially, a number of rumors pointed to an iPhone 5 with a similar form factor as the iPhone 4. More recently, however, some reports have claimed that top Apple executives weren't entirely enthralled with the iPhone 4 design prompting the iPhone 5 to undergo a significant redesign.

Remember, this isn't the first we've heard of an iPhone 5 with a larger home button. Also, note that previous reports have relayed news of an iPhone 5 with a curved screen a'la the Nexus S coupled with a teardrop design a'la the iPod Touch.

And just yesterday, 9to5Mac reported that it received actual case moldings purporting to be for the upcoming iPhone 5.

I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the case molding above is pretty spot on with the case schematics pictured above. Of course, it's always possible that both the schematics and the actual case moldings were based on faulty, or perhaps outdated, information.

One thing to note is that because the iPhone 5 will reportedly be thinner than the iPhone 4, some reports have claimed that Apple has been able to test its next-gen iPhone from within an iPhone 4 case. Remember that Apple employed a similar tactic when it was testing the iPhone 4. The infamous iPhone 4 that was left at a bar by an Apple engineer was actually enveloped by a case that it made it look like a run of the mill iPhone 3GS. In doing so, Apple was attempting to keep its new design a secret up until the last possible minute.

Of course, with Apple relying on partners abroad to help manufacture the iPhone, there's only so much Apple can do to keep new designs secret. Still, with the iPhone 5 still 6 weeks away at the earliest, it might be just a tad to early to take these case moldings too seriously.

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