It's been a little while since we got our hands on a nice, juicy iPhone rumor. Last week there was a bit about NFC finally coming to the iPhone. Before that it was the mini dock connector. Before that, Apple apparently let details about the new iPhone's redesign slip in some patent drawings.
But it's been awhile since we had something more concrete than drawings or rumors. The last time we had anything like that was when the new iPhone's metal rear panel apparently leaked.
Unfortunately, the drought continues, despite what you may have read elsewhere. If you've been paying much attention to tech news today, you've probably seen references to a leaked front panel for the new iPhone. This leak supposedly confirms the new iPhone's larger display. The story comes originally from a Chinese news site called MyDrivers.com (Google Translation), who posted the following picture yesterday:
Unfortunately, the image is almost certainly a fake. Well, that's not strictly accurate. It probably is an iPhone front panel, just not from the new iPhone. If you're familiar with the information that's already been out there about the new iPhone, then there are a few obvious clues. First, there's the camera. Everything we've seen so far says that the FaceTime camera on the new iPhone will be centered above the earpiece, not offset like it is on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Second, there's the size. The new iPhone is almost universally believed to have a larger screen, but all that extra real estate will be added in height - the new iPhone's display won't be any wider. It's hard to tell for sure from the photo, but the aspect ratio on this image looks pretty much the same as on previous iPhones. So if this panel is 4 inches on the diagonal, then it would have to be both wider and taller than previous iPhones.
So what it is, then? Well, the good folks over at Cult of Mac did a little digging of their own and found that the image provided by MyDrivers looks suspiciously like iFixit's photo of the iPhone 4S's front panel:
So again, the image MyDrivers gives is almost certainly not the new iPhone's front panel. Nevertheless, there are a few interesting tidbits in their article. For one thing, they affirm the rumors about the new iPhone's display, saying that the screen will get a 30% increase in viewing area and be 4 inches on the diagonal. They also repeat several other rumors that we've heard, including the use of an in-cell touchscreen and NFC.
They also suggest that the new iPhone will be releasing next month, rather than widely expected September-October release date. On the one hand, that seems unlikely, given that it's less than 12 months since the iPhone 4S released. On the other, nearly every rumor concerning the iPad Mini has pegged it for an October launch. Launching the iPhone a bit early would avoid having the two devices trample on each other's markets, and edge the iPhone back to the original summer release schedule it was on until the iPhone 4S was delayed last year. All things considered, though, it's likelier that the new iPhone won't be coming until October. Either way, we've still got some waiting left to do.