iPhone 5 Rumor: It Was Real, And Steve Jobs Scrapped It Before Launch

Says a source who claims hands-on time with a prototype

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iPhone 5 Rumor: It Was Real, And Steve Jobs Scrapped It Before Launch
[ Technology]

Remember the whole iPhone 4S / iPhone 5 blow up? The iPhone 4S arrived with Siri, an awesome new camera and a faster processor – but it looked just like the iPhone 4. There were no design changes, and that pissed off many folks who thought that they would be getting the iPhone 5 – a giant redesign that featured a slimmer frame and a larger screen.

Well, according to Business Insider, that phone existed – in prototype form.

They quote “a industry source who has been right about future Apple products in the past,” but also warn to “read this post with a nice fat dose of salt.” Let me add another giant spoonful of salt on this one – it is truly a rumor if there ever was one.

But it’s interesting nonetheless.

According to the source, “Apple engineers he knows thought until about three months before the iPhone 4S was released, that a new fully re-designed iPhone was going to be Apple’s next big announcement.”

Here’s what the prototype supposedly looked like –

  • Bigger screen
  • Aluminum backs like the iPad 2
  • Liquid metal technology to make different colored phones
  • Thinner and Wider
  • No physical home button

Why did we not see this phone back in October? Well, the sources weren’t sure, but they said that rumor had it (yes, a rumor within a rumor, Inception style) Steve Jobs scrapped it:

Steve Jobs was unhappy with the bigger screen because it “fragmented” iPhones, Apple’s big argument against Android is the way all the different phones from different manufacturers fragment that operating system.

What do you think? Could Apple have scrapped a device like this so soon before launching the 4S? Does this smell like total BS to you? Let us know in the comments.

iPhone 5 Rumor: It Was Real, And Steve Jobs Scrapped It Before Launch
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  • Botta bizzle

    Well it kinda sounds truthful. I also thought that it was a new phone until it actually hit stores. But Maybe when Steve passed they decided to wait.

  • Dan

    No chance. The supply chain can’t react that quickly if they pulled the plug with three months to go. There is also the certification and testing that goes on. Never mind the software developers Apple likes to have at launch who would have needed more time to write for the new resolution. Last, but not least, Apple uses its ridiculous cash position to buy components like displays well in advance and actually fronts the money to manufacturers to build new lines. You can’t change all that quickly. Apple was almost certainly making the phones at least two months or more before they shipped. That leaves even less time to revamp things. Just not possible from a logistics perspective.

    No one should be surprised about the screen not changing: Jobs was arrogant and vocal that Apple had carefully picked the right size. You may recall that when the iPhone was first released some thought it too wide because phones at that point were moving to be more narrow. Jobs ego would have resisted a change in size initially. I do think Apple’s new management team will eventually go with a larger screen.

    Jobs was right about fragmentation and Apple has done a phenomenal job in reducing options for developers and third parties. Android’s strength of diversity is also its Achilles heel since upgrades are hard and you never really know if every app will run on your device. Apple really has to think hard about what they want on the screen and even has the same issue with a rumored increase in resolution for the iPad3.

    Good story, but no chance.

  • Jay

    It may be but who knows for sure. Maybe Steve was unhappy with it and did scrap it. I wouldn’t put it past him. Then maybe they just threw Siri, a 8 megapixel camera, the A5 and called it a 4s to allow more time to work on the 5. If this is true I’m glad that they didn’t put it out and let people spend money on something that wasn’t what it was suppose to be. That could ruin a company. I love the 4s even tho it does have its issues, mostly battery. But I def can’t wait for the 5!!!!!!!!!!! Let rumors be rumers and facts be facts. Get it apple ohh ohh

  • elmer javier

    Steve was right again. Biigger screen = fragments iPhones. Just read reviews from Android Market like ” I love this game” (htc evo) , ” do not download, not work on htc Hero. Same manufacter fragments phone. Steve was a entrepreneur. I think he seen the iphone 5 screen calculate this: Fragment IPhone = Apps Store Refunds.
    This means stocks holders will download iCry. Maybe we see Angry BirDevelopers: Season Fragment on iPhone 5.

  • Aleina

    Each time a new iPhone comes out, it’s a slight improvement over the last. Let’s go down the memory lane and figure out the people and technology. http://goo.gl/L89ss

  • mac

    The Iphone 5 was not only in prototype but it was built in early production runs in Sept. Look closely at Appple’s Sept quarter income statement. You will see a significant and unexplained cost of goods sold increase. This increase was at time when component costs were dropping dramatically due to the economy and japan recovery. That increase is the Iphone 5 production write off due to the Samsung Lawsuit in the Hague. Apple/Steve decided not to risk having the new phone tied up in that process and are now using the 4s as a stalking horse to understand Samsung Patent positioning which they will design around before the Iphone 5 is launched. hopefully without the worries of Samsung patent BS hanging over them.

    • Dan

      Mac, not exactly. The EU lawsuit in the Hague doesn’t worry Apple: it is covered under laws that say if you take a standard and then make it an industry standard (like cell phones, DVD formats, etc) then you have to license it fairly to everyone. Apple knows they have to pay Samsung: the argument Samsung is trying to make is that they can charge Apple more than others. Samsung is going to lose that one. In any case, it is minor money (big picture) and Apple isn’t pulling the plug on launching a product because they are worried. More likely it is part of a legal strategy to get Apple to license their technology to Samsung and free them from Apple’s lawsuits. The difference is that Apple doesn’t license much of their technology and doesn’t want to.

      You are right about prototypes and other devices surely having been produced. But those are relatively inexpensive. I have seen some of the discussions about the cost of goods and I think the more likely issue is that Apple paid more for shipping to ramp up initial quantities and probably Pre-paying for some components. That would be a closer match to the dollar amounts. Moreover, it would reflect better as expenses in the quarter. I stil say the supply chain couldn’t have changed that quickly to make 4M+ devices unless they had the sufficient lead times which are more than a month or two.

      • mac

        $400M+ in cost of goods sold is more than any increase in shipping costs could eat up. Reread the Hague language that came out on Sept 24. The Hague allows for an injunction on shipping a NEW product that potentially violates until it is proven that the NEW product doesn’t violate. The 4s was positioned as an updated old product and therefore wasn’t at risk of a hold on shipping. And the language is clear, older products have to work their way through the Fair and Reasonable IP language you mention. NEW products not so.

  • http://mobileico.com Wallace Morrison

    I call BS on this. Sorry man, but I read posts like this everyday, “Steve thought this”, and “Apple was thinking about that”, not to mention all the YouTube videos that are fake about a “New” leaked iPhone video. I think these posts really discredit you, because it’s too much speculation and not facts. With Jobs gone, I can say anything about them. I guess I am one of the few that doesn’t fall for any story (no matter what it comes from), but unless it is coming from someone like Tony or Tim at Apple, I don’t buy it.

  • http://www.ibacklinkpro.com iBacklinkPRO

    This sounds exactly like Steve Jobs. Too bad he’s not here to fix it. I just hope Apple remains a viable company after his passing… I love the Iphone and have been holding out to get the Iphone 4S, but with no 4G and nothing too impressive about this phone, I’m considering going to the Droid Bionic… guess here’s hoping that Apple at least mentions a new 4G Iphone release… weren’t they supposed to go to a new 2 phones a year model?

  • http://www.angrybats.com Ukzs0206

    I bought this Ipad and iPhone accessories last week and it is very good.It has all the features.Worth Buying:http://www.angrybats.com/mobiles-accessories/apple/ipad.html

  • Jamal


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