So in late May 9to5Mac got a scoop on some photos showing what they claim to be "the next iPhone".
I think the first thought I had was "fuck yeah, aluminium back plate" and then "what, an aluminium back plate?". Then I noticed a few things that didn't add up.
Its just not sitting right. By looking at the photos it looks like the lens is not centered in the "windowed" area between the metal plate and top. The top and bottom margins are off and I haven't seen that a lot in Apple products.
Apple goes to the trouble of making sure ports in notebooks are vertically centered. Why not on the iPhone all of a sudden? It would be pretty tight with that sleep/wake button and the camera sensor but Apple has done even tricker work in the past.
Metal back and antennas
When the iPhone 4S was released it put to rest one of the most over-hyped issues with the iPhone 4 antenna system. It had rearranged its exterior antenna's to have 2 distinct GSM and 2 auxiliary antennas. That ended antennagate. So why undo all of that work?
I am definitely not an electrical engineer but is it possible that that entire metal surface area can be one antenna? The metal plate extends and wraps around both sides with no distinct break on either side. Dont get me wrong, that anodised aluminium is sexy as hell but I dont think it can work.
90% metal, 10% glass
By far the strangest thing about the backs of these prototypes is those random strips of glass. Sam on The Verge gave his explanation of what they are:
With all the antennas on the outside its interesting that they need glass to aid in reception for some new internal antennas? Granted, this may be to make the back plate a certain size or surface area so it works well but its a massive trade off. All that glass that has to be custom cut and placed during production.
In this mockup/leak it looks pretty good but its hardly much different from the current iPhone form factor with a larger screen.
The bottom does look bloody marvellous… Bring on the 9-pin connector.
Its just all a little bit off. A beautiful high quality example of what the next iPhone may be but I dont think thats what it will look like rolling off production in Shenzhen.