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High-quality images compare alleged next-gen iPhone, iPhone 4S front assemblies

A video and accompanying high-resolution photos of the purported next-generation iPhone's front assembly hit the web on Thursday, adding to to the mountain of rumors and leaks regarding Apple's hotly-anticipated handset.

The images, from Shenzhen-based cell phone parts company SINOCET (via nowhereelse.fr), allegedly show the front plate assembly bound for Apple's sixth-generation iPhone expected to hit shelves on Sept. 21.

Photos of the purported next-gen part were previously "leaked" earlier this month, however the new video and pictures include a side-by-side comparison with a front panel taken off a current iPhone 4S.

The validity of the images cannot be confirmed, but they appear to be in line with the multitude of reports coming from various sources. Most recently a video of the purported next-generation iPhone's flex cables hinted at the possible relocation of the unit's headphone jack, front-facing camera and proximity sensor, a move first seen in early shots of the handset's uni-body chassis.


Source: SINOCET via YouTube


As in another set of previously reported images, an unidentified chip can be seen toward the top of the display near the earpiece. It was speculated that the mysterious component was an NFC chip, however that rumor was brought into question upon closer examination.

Front Panel Chip

Close-up of unknown chip once thought to be an NFC module. | Source: SINOCET


Apple is widely thought to be increasing the iPhone's screen size to 4-inches, up from the current 3.5-inch form factor seen on all iPhones since the first model launched in 2007. The company has been content to stick with the smaller display amidst the sea of ever-growing screens seen on rival Android devices like Samsung's Galaxy S III. Despite its apparent hesitation to enlarge the iPhone's screen, thereby changing its form factor, Apple has increased the device's resolution over the years, the most recent jump being the high-resolution Retina display seen on 2010's iPhone 4.

Front Panel

Source: SINOCET


The rumored next-gen iPhone is also expected to employ a down-sized dock connector, possibly signaling a move away from the 30-pin version first introduced in Apple's iPod product line. Photos of the alleged new 9-pin design have been making the rounds, with a supposedly complete cable pictured last week.

Front Panel Side View



Apple is said to be keeping the handset's weight down by employing in-cell touchscreen technology that integrates a display's touch-sensing elements with the LCD array. At least three separate companies are reported to be manufacturing the component including LG, which announced last week that production of in-cell screens had started but fell short of mentioning where the parts were going.

Front Panel Comparison



Apple is expected to debut the new iPhone on Sept. 12, with pre-orders set to begin that same day ahead of a Sept. 21 U.S. launch.