New purported images of the iPhone 5 bear some resemblance to the famed 9to5mac iPhone 5 sightings, but with marked differences. Is this the real iPhone 5, or just another riff on the rumored specs suggested in the late spring?
Time and time again, glimpses of a new iPhone spotted in the wild have broken hearts. Even in 2010, when an iPhone 4 prototype was opportunistically scooped up in a bar and splayed across the internet by Gizmodo, only its innards were revealing; its form factor was still masked in an iPhone 3GS-inspired fuselage. That’s precisely why so many have taken the 9to5mac photos and subsequent case sightings with a grain of salt — it’s just too hard to believe that we’ll ever get a real glimpse of the iPhone prior to its official rollout.
but considering that Gizmodo has come closest to showing us the finished product of an iPhone, their reports are always worth taking a second look at. And it appears that they are claiming a fresh sighting of the iPhone 5 — in its complete form.
Read on to see for yourself.
According to a new Gizmodo report, this above-pictured iPhone 5 prototype was smuggled out of the Foxconn factory: ”A Chinese case manufacturer is showing what looks to be an iPhone 5 in their product shots. It looks like the white 3D prototype we published a while back—complete with its new 19-pin dock port.”
The crux of the Gizmodo article draws direct parallels to the appearance of the iPhone 4 prototype; essentially, they argue that this could be the iPhone 5, since sighting a new iPhone has happened before. Of course, the circumstances at first seem widely different: with the iPhone 4, the unit was accidentally left in a bar by a Cupertino engineer. This story, however, claims that the device was smuggled out of a Foxconn plant in Asia.
And yet, Gizmodo reminds us that, “another iPhone 4 appeared in video and photos on a Vietnamese site. Apparently, it had been smuggled from the factory. The same happened soon after with the iPod touch.” This was the video:
Still, that was 2010. Since then, I have argued for some time that while smuggling small parts out of the Foxconn plant, such as home buttons, is feasible, getting a complete iPhone off the assembly lines would be exceedingly difficult, especially in light one the stepped-up measures that Apple’s Worldwide Loyalty Team have undoubtedly put into place after iPad 2 specs were leaked to some case designers ahead of its release.
Of course, Gizmodo hedges its bets on this iPhone 5 sighting by stating exactly what we’ve been saying here on the blog; that the 9to5mac specs could very well have spurred on all of these fake sightings: “On the other hand, this may be just a custom-made test prototype based on the rumored specifications and leaked parts. Maybe that’s why they are not showing it up close and not making a big deal out of it. The iPhone shows iOS running with a weird combination of icons, including the old Maps icon. That’s strange.”
Yes, it is. It would seem that, while counterfeiters would want to design a fully-functional iPhone 5 unit to further prove its authenticity, it would be highly unlikely that there would be discrepancies in the operating system. While it’s possible that Apple doesn’t pipe in the new iOS until close to shipment (considering that iOS 6 is still in beta testing), one would not expect iOS on this unit to raise eyebrows.
Even if these sighting prove to be false, what remains to be seen is that the iPhone 5 rumor mill could really have guessed some of the more landmark features that we’re seeing, such as the elongated screen and 19-pin dock connector. It’s hard to imagine that Apple would allow these features to leak prior to the iPhone 5′s official release, which still leads me to believe that we’ll see a different design in the fall when Tim Cook officially reveals it.
By Michael Nace