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Thursday, September 15, 2011, 11:11 am PT (02:11 pm ET)

Case makers bet on iPhone 5 with 'completely different form factor'

Some third-party accessory makers are banking on a completely redesigned look for Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, though time will tell whether their projections stem from real inside information or are based on bogus rumors.

For example, Case-Mate this week launched a new section of its website claiming to have "inside resources" on Apple's next iPhone. The site claimed that the fifth-generation iPhone will have a "completely different form factor" from the iPhone 4, with a design wider and thinner with an "extended home button."

The page was put up to replace a previous listing with variety of different cases claimed to have been designed for Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, which were captured by Boy Genius Report, but that has since been pulled down. Like others seen before, they showed a device with curved sides, a flat back, and a mute switch moved to the right side of the handset.

Case-Mate claims the so-called "iPhone 5" will have a dual-core A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and "wireless charging." While the A5 processor and 8-megapixel camera are widely expected, Case-Mate's claims of wireless charging of the device make the contents of the page suspect.

The site also claimed that its "inside resources" indicated Apple will launch both an iPhone 5 and an "iPhone 4S" in early October. The iPhone 4S was said to feature the same form factor as the iPhone 4, but with an A5 processor and 8-megapixel camera.

In a similar story, new screen protectors claimed to be for Apple's fifth-generation iPhone cropped up this week at unwire.hk (via MacRumors). The accessories are designed to fit a device that is slightly larger than an iPhone 4, with a large oval-sized area where an iPhone's home button would be.

iPhone 5 1


The screen protectors have been seen by some as evidence that Apple plans to release a redesigned iPhone this year with a larger screen and a touch-sensitive home button, as has been rumored. However, the design could be based on alleged iPhone 5 engineering sketches released earlier this year, or could even be designed for an entirely different non-Apple smartphone with a larger display, as there is nothing on the screen protector to suggest it is meant specifically for an iPhone.

iPhone 5 2


Apple is expected to hold an event in the coming weeks to unveil its fifth-generation iPhone, and the handset is anticipated to go on sale in October. Rumors about the new hardware have been scattershot, with some claiming it will be a completely redesigned form factor, while others have suggested the device will look largely the same as the iPhone 4.