iPhone 5 will reportedly feature curved glass screen

The latest iPhone 5 rumor suggests that Apple's next-gen iPhone will feature a curved glass screen, a'la Google's Nexus S from Samsung

It's hard to keep track of the rumors surrounding Apple's next-gen iPhone. Almost comically, it's even hard to get a handle on what it's going to be called. While some refer to it as the iPhone 5, some reports claim it will be called the iPhone 4S. Still, others have speculated that Apple may release two iPhone models come this Fall, and hence the two different model names floating around

The latest rumor regarding the iPhone 5 (or perhaps next-gen iPhone is a good way to hedge our bets) is that the device will come with a curved screen a'la the Google Nexus S from Samsung.

Citing sources in the Taiwanese supply chain, Digitimes is reporting that Apple has already acquired 200-300 specially designed, and quite expensive, glass cutting machines to help hasten the manufacturing process. Interestingly, the report notes that manufacturers have been hesitant to purchase the equipment themselves due to their extremely high cost. The  machines are reportedly now being housed at nearby assembly plants and will become operational "once yield rates for the production of curved glass reaches a satisfactory level..."

There has been no timetable yet for the volume production of iPhone 5 as Apple is currently still working with related suppliers including those involved in cover glass, glass cutting, lamination and touch sensors to improve yield rates, the sources commented.

Again, it's hard to know what to make of this rumor. There's no denying the curved glass on the Nexus S is particularly elegant, and indeed, some claim that the contoured glass will make for less shattered screens, but there have been a good deal of reports stating that the next-gen iPhone will have the same form factor as the iPhone 4.

Could, perhaps, Apple be planning two distinct iPhone models as I alluded to above? It's possible, but with Apple already well served by lowering the price on older iPhone models, it's hard to see a strong impetus for the company to go that route.

As you all probably are aware by now, the next-gen iPhone won't be hitting store shelves until September at the earliest. Hopefully we'll glean more information from the Apple rumor mill now that Summer is steadily approaching

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