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Friday, May 11, 2012, 03:33 pm PT (06:33 pm ET)

Next-gen iPhone design in limbo, October launch date remains likely

According to a new report, Apple engineers have yet to finalize the design of the next-generation iPhone which could account for the disparity of rumors currently circulating about larger screen sizes and a Liquidmetal caseback.

Sources say that the cupertino, Calif., company has not decided on whether it will change the size or aspect ratio of the upcoming handset's screen, though a new smaller dock connector will reportedly be implemented, according to iMore.

The source goes on to say that the device will indeed sport a home button, which limits screen size to a certain degree. As it stands, it looks unlikely that the handset will have a display larger than 4 inches, if any change is made at all.

The implementation of Liquidmetal as a main structural feature is also up in the air, and the alloy's inventor has gone on record as saying Apple is years away from using the technology.

October is still seen as the probable launch window for the new iPhone which happens to be the same period that a rumored 7-inch iPad may be unveiled.

In an April note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noted that supply issues surrounding Qualcomm LTE chips would push back a next-gen iPhone release to at least October. The current iPhone 4S remains incompatible with 4G LTE networks, though it is expected that its successor will have such capabilities.

A separate report from February also pegged the September to October timeframe as being a prime period for a new iPhone debut.