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Monday, March 07, 2011, 04:45 am PT (07:45 am ET)

Apple rumored to ditch glass back for aluminum with iPhone 5

A new rumor claims that Apple will abandon the glass back design it introduced with the iPhone 4, and replace it with a new aluminum back, similar to the very first iPhone, with its next model due out this summer.

The report claims that issues with scratches and paint mixture for the white iPhone 4 have allegedly prompted Apple to switch to aluminum, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via Macotakara). Citing a Chinese source, the publication claims that Apple will adopt a design similar to the iPod touch for the iPhone 5.

In addition to scratching and difficulty painting the glass back of the iPhone 4, the report claims that the weight of the glass has prompted Apple to reconsider its use in the fifth-generation handset.

Apple is also rumored to be looking to abandon the steel outer frame of the iPhone 4, which doubles as the device's antennas. That design decision led to bad publicity when it was discovered that covering a section of the antenna could degrade a wireless signal.

Instead, the report claims that Apple will use a special resin for the Apple logo on the back of the device. Cellular and Wi-Fi data will reportedly travel through the logo, just like Wi-Fi does on the iPad.

Finally, the Taiwanese newspaper also states that there is "no doubt" the iPhone 5 will sport the same A5 processor as the forthcoming iPad 2. It also predicts Apple will stick with its typical annual release schedule, announcing the device at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, in June or July, as it has done in years past.