Apple iPhone 5 Rumors: 18 Gorgeous Concept Pictures Boast New Features, Bigger Screen [PHOTOS]

 @redletterdave
on March 30 2012 11:39 AM
  • What Will The iPhone 5 Look Like?
    Nobody knows what the iPhone 5 will look like, but the phone is expected to have a longer and wider form factor, a bigger screen with an enhanced Retina Display, and LTE capabilities. This design of an iPhone 5 prototype was created by Italian designer Federico Ciccarese. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Federico Ciccarese
    Another photo of Federico Ciccarese's iPhone 5 concept design. When the phone is faced down, it emphasizes its similarity to Apple's "magic mouse," which is known for its beautifully curved "teardrop" design. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Federico Ciccarese
    Another photo of Federico Ciccarese's iPhone 5 concept design. When the phone is faced down, it emphasizes its similarity to Apple's "magic mouse," which is known for its beautifully curved "teardrop" design. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Federico Ciccarese
    Ciccarese's iPhone 5 concept design is beautiful when you can see it, but when it's turned off, the brilliant Apple logo shines bright through the darkness. Apple should seriously consider adding this gorgeous feature. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Tobi
    Tobi imagines the iPhone 5 like a small iPad by giving it a Smart Cover to put it to sleep and keep the screen protected. The design also pushes the screen to the side edges, while leaving plenty of room on the top and bottom. Concept Phone
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Antonio De Rosa of ADR Studio
    Antonio De Rosa designed a version of the iPhone 5 with a slim, rectangular shape. While it's not completely "edge-to-edge," this is the closest version of what the Asian sources from within Foxconns said the iPhone 5 looks like. Courtesy
  • Apple iPhone 5 Concept - Design by NAK STudio
    NAK Studio created a batch of candy-colored iPhone 5 designs, which would make the phone sleek but personal in the same way consumers can choose different colored iPods from Apple. Courtesy
  • "iPhone 5G" Concept - Design by NAK Studio
    NAK Studio imagines the iPhone 5 to look more like a big beautiful version of a Windows Phone. The phone's length and width are very similar to the Lumia 710 and 800 designs. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Antonio De Rosa of ADR Studio
    Another picture of ADR's Nokia Lumia-esque iPhone 5 design. The front screen is very Apple, but a few problems with the concept -- a button in the middle of the screen, and an uneven back -- make it an unlikely iPhone 5 candidate. Courtesy
  • iPhone SJ Concept - Design by Antonio De Rosa of ADR Studio
    Similar to the company's iPhone 5 concept, the "iPhone SJ" would be a tribute to co-founder Steve Jobs, with a thin glass design and lots of beautiful rounded rectangles. Courtesy
  • Mood LED iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Kazi Shahriar Ahmed
    Ahmed's iPhone 5 concept adds an incredible "mood" feature, which changes the LED home button into different colors based on its activity. The button blinks white when there's a notification, stays green when it's charging, and turns red when it needs to be recharged. Courtesy
  • "iPhone Air" Concept - Design By Federico Ciccarese
    Federico Ciccarese returns with another iPhone design, but he calls this one "iPhone Air." The device is extremely thin and features an edge-to-edge design, making it extremely similar to its cousin, the MacBook Air. Courtesy
  • "Size Zero" iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Antonello Falcone
    Falcone created a gorgeous iPhone with a full edge-to-edge screen. While the back is slightly curved, suggesting a thinner teardrop shape, the front is big and beautiful, giving iPhone users a bigger screen without enlarging the form factor. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by ADR Studio
    Another photo from ADR Studio shows a much bigger home button on the bottom, and a thinner overall design. It's sleek, but you won't be able to stop looking at the button. ADR Studio
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by ADR Studio
    Will Samsung Galaxy Note Outplay Apple’s iPhone 5? Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Shaik Imaduddin
    Imaduddin's iPhone is a little more severe than the current iPhones on the market, with no rounded rectangles (Steve Jobs' favorite shape) to be seen. While the thinness does make it beautiful, this design is highly unlikely. Courtesy
  • iPhone 5 Concept - Design by NAK Studio
    In another concept from NAK Studio, another severe-looking iPhone actually gets thicker in the middle to accommodate more features, including a bigger battery and more chips and radio bands. Courtesy
  • Apple iPhone 5 Concept - Design by Aatma Studio
    Aatma Studio's iPhone 5 isn't so much about the look of the phone, but what it can do. Here, a concept shows a light projector built into the iPhone 5 that projects a virtual keyboard onto a surface. The keyboard can be expanded or shrunk using the pinch gestures to make typing into the iPhone seamless and easy. Courtesy
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Apple fans are already clamoring for the iPhone 5, even though nobody outside of Cupertino knows what it looks like, what it can do, or when it's coming out. But since Apple keeps its lips sealed until the official unveiling, the best we can do is use the latest reports and rumors to imagine what the finished iPhone 5 could look like. Thankfully, there are plenty of artists who love to draw up beautiful concept designs.

While these iPhone 5 concept designs are beautiful, they are in no way an accurate representation of what Apple is actually building for its sixth-generation iPhone:

On March 21, Apple had reportedly ordered 4.6-inch screens, to be featured in the company's next iPhone. The report came from a South Korean publication, the Maeli Business Newspaper, which quoted an unnamed industry source, according to Reuters. 

Two days later, a new report from iMore's editor-in-chief Rene Ritchie stated the iPhone 5 retains the current 3.5-inch screen -- the same size as all previous generation iPhones -- but Apple added a few new features. Ritchie also said the phone would be released in October 2012.

Ritchie has a solid track record with Apple news. Last August, Ritchie correctly reported Apple's next iPhone would be unveiled in the first week of October and would be called iPhone 4S, while all other reporters at the time called the speculative device the iPhone 5. Ritchie also correctly pegged the new iPad's unveiling on March 7.

While Ritchie believes the iPhone 5 could get a little bigger than its predecessors, he said that it would not be nearly as big as those 4.5-inch-plus Android smartphones.

The truth seems to be somewhere in between Ritchie's report and the Korean source. In early January, as Apple was reportedly gearing up to begin production on the iPhone 5. A source from within China's Foxconn manufacturing plant told 9 to 5 Mac that various sample iPhone 5 prototypes were floating around the factory floor, but there were a number of common features among the phones, including a display that measured at least 4 inches, and a longer and wider form factor that did not match that of the iPhone 4 or 4S. The Foxconn sources believed the iPhone 5 would retain the rectangular shape of its predecessors, which, if true, would put to bed any rumors of a slimmer teardrop design.

In October, the Internet was flooded with photos of a thin, large-screen iPhone 4. The photos were widely believed to be doctored until one Chinese site discovered mold engineerings of an iPhone 4 with a noticeably larger screen. The renderings depicted an edge-to-edge design for the iPhone's screen, which looked to measure about 3.7 inches. Component industry trackers believed that the images represented Apple's wish to compete with rival devices with bigger screens. The next month, Hitachi and Sony reportedly began shipping 4-inch LCD panels for final production of new iOS devices believed to be the company's next iPhone.

Other Likely Features

It's already a foregone conclusion that Apple will implement radio bands for 4G LTE in the iPhone 5, given that Apple introduced the high-speed network on its new iPad, released on March 16, which was likely done as a practice run

LTE features significantly higher download and upload speeds compared to 3G technologies, but previous implementations of LTE in smartphones tended to ravage battery life, which was a major complaint from users. If Apple wanted LTE in the iPhone 4S at the time, it would have been forced to increase the phone's thickness to accommodate a larger circuit board and a bigger battery. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a company earnings conference call in April 2011, said first-generation LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises.

The iPhone 4 PCB [printed circuit board] is already incredibly small, not leaving any room for an extra chip to enable LTE without shrinking the size of the battery, said Anand Shimpi, a chip expert and CEO of Anandtech.

Fortunately, Qualcomm recently unveiled the fifth iteration of its new chip, which supports TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, HSPA+, EV-DO, embedded GPS, and LTE on TDD and FDD networks worldwide. The chip works with Android and Windows 8 devices, but there's a high degree of likelihood that this will be the same chip inside the iPhone 5.

Apple's next iPhone may also include a number of the company's recently granted patents. Apple won a major patent on March 6 for a piece of technology called the iWallet, which is a digital system that gives users complete control over their subsidiary financial accounts on their iPhones, and also leverages Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology to complete credit card transactions directly on the phone as well. The iWallet has many different features, including giving users the ability to see their entire credit card profiles, view statements and messages from their banks, and even set parental controls for their children, should they also want to use their iPhones as digital wallets. Outside of the iPhone, users can keep track of their payments and statements within the iTunes billing system, which keeps credit card information and records safe and secure. There's a possibility that iWallet could also work with other Apple utilities, which could allow users to buy things like movie tickets directly within the apps, but only time will tell with that one.

The iPhone 5 might also be the first phone to feature a new piece of software for multi-player gaming. On March 15, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that describes a system for multi-player gaming, which allows groups of people to play the same game together and even see it from different perspectives according to the device's physical relation to one another. The system actually mimics that of the Find My Friends app, in which a user's device detects other nearby devices that it recognizes as friends, and invites them to all join a common application. The unique technology also determines the relative position of those devices, so some games -- like turn-based role-playing games or card games -- can be played in a specific order.

The best patent of them all, however, may be Apple's patent for crack-resistant glass, granted on Nov. 15. Basically, the crack-resistant glass solution utilizes the same alumino silicate glass used in the iPhone 4 and 4S, but by chemically treating it with potassium and sodium ions, the glass can then achieve greater compression thresholds on the surface and edges of the glass, making it less susceptible to cracks. The patent also involves a shock mount between the glass and the body of the device that will instantly inflate if the device senses it's falling, which is determined by the device's internal accelerometer. An actuator within the device sucks in the cover glass as it accelerates to the ground, protecting it from damage.

What else would you like to see in the iPhone 5? Which of the above photos has your favorite design? Let us know in the comments section below.

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