The iPhone 5 rumor mill got something new to chew on as images of supposed new components for the next iPhone surfaced over the weekend. Unlike the slightly redesigned iPhone home buttons that leaked a few weeks ago, this new component (assuming it's genuine) provides solid evidence that the next iPhone will be getting a significant redesign.
The new components were discovered by CydiaBlog and are being sold by SW-Box, a Hong Kong-based website that deals in components for electronic devices. According to the listing, the component is the headphone jack, ear speaker, and wifi antenna for the new iPhone. The folks at iMore, however, disagree: they believe that the component is actually the dock connector, speaker, and cellular antenna for the new iPhone. Looking closely at the picture, it looks like they're right.
This is important because the dock connector in the image is considerably smaller than the 30-pin dock connector that has been in all iOS devices since the original iPhone, and was on several models of iPod before that. One of the most consistent and reliable rumors about the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 6, or, most likely, "new iPhone") has been that it would be getting a smaller dock connector, a move that would allow Apple to free up a little extra space inside the iPhone for other components. That rumor first surfaced back in February, and was apparently confirmed by a second report earlier this month.
If Apple really is shrinking the dock connector, it suggests that the new iPhone will indeed be getting a significant external redesign. Of course, the iPhone was due for a makeover, what with the iPhone 4S being externally identical to the iPhone 4. Leaks like this, though, confirm that that's actually happening. That raises the question, though, of what other aspects of the phone will be redesigned. Could we see the long-rumored increase to screen size? What else might Apple change? Unfortunately, the odds are that we'll have another 4-5 months of waiting to do before we find out for sure.[Concept photo credit: Ciccarese Design]