Newly obtained photos of engineering samples reveal molds that purport to show the iPhone 5 and Mini iPad form factors. The iPhone 5 mold corroborates earlier sightings of a longer, metal-backed design.
In the wake of widely reported-on photos of what purported to be iPhone 5 form factor components, new photos have emerged that appear to corroborate the design originally revealed by 9to5Mac, along with a new glimpse at the long-rumored “iPad Mini.” The photos come by way of GottaBeMobile, and purport to be “engineering samples” — or composite molds — of both the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. 9to5Mac explains:
These photos appear to be of a physical construction of the rumored next-generation iPhone design. The report calls the metal mockup (which in the end may simply be a case maker’s mold, we speculate) slightly taller than the iPhone 4/4S, yet thinner and a design with the same width. However, it is possible that these are actual engineering samples manufactured in Apple’s supply chain. This case would lend more credence to the previously rumored taller design with a two-toned back.”
Perhaps even more interesting is GottaBeMobile‘s purported glimpse at the iPad Mini, which, as initially suggested by Apple insider Jim Darymple, appears to look identical to the iPad 3, but with smaller specs:
It’s worth noting, however, that “engineering samples” like these are even much easier to fake then a “finished” form factor, since they are nothing more than molds. And given the fact that the specs of the original iPhone 5 photos from 9to5Mac were widely shared, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine how one could mock up a metal mold of it in an effort to substantiate the initial claim.
Add to this the fact that Apple is known for its tight security on product development, and it becomes increasingly hard to imagine that we could be seeing the finished form factor of both the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini at this juncture, since allowing us to do so would potentially spoil Apple’s ability to make a big splash with its overhauled iPhone 5 and newly-revealed iPad Mini, respectively.
By Michael Nace