Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 12:45 pm PT (03:45 pm ET)
Purported 'iPhone 5' cases show design near-identical to Apple's iPhone 4Apple's anticipated fifth-generation iPhone will sport an exterior design largely identical to the current iPhone 4, if new cases from overseas are to be believed.
The picture of case renderings, obtained by HardMac, shows identical button placement and SIM card slot. It also has the same space on the back for a camera and flash.
The report noted that the information is not "confirmed," but dubbed the source "reliable."
"These cases would be prototypes of the iPhone 5 cases, based on the mockup that was provided by Apple," the report said. "There is apparently no fundamental change on the placement of the buttons and the SIM card slot."
If accurate, the renderings would likely disprove an earlier rumor that Apple is looking to abandon the steel outer frame of the iPhone 4 following bad publicity over alleged antenna issues. That rumor also suggested the so-called "iPhone 5" would adopt an antenna back, suggesting a major redesign.
Third-party cases from overseas companies have become a popular — and sometimes very accurate — source of potential information about Apple's secret upcoming products. As far back as early December, pictures of an iPad 2 case correctly revealed the device would have a rear-facing camera and a larger speaker grille on the back.
Last week, alleged engineering sketches claimed to show off the iPhone 5 showed a device with a larger edge-to-edge display. Aside from the bigger screen, the rest of the device was shown unchanged externally from the iPhone 4.
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