The release date for Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to be announced in less than two weeks, and it's clear anticipation is at an all-time high. This summer has produced an unprecedented number of alleged leaks and rumors, and now images of what is believed to be a new set of earphones for the iPhone 5 have surfaced on the Web.
A Vietnamese website known as Tinhte.vn originally published the purportedly leaked photos, giving Apple fans sneak peeks at the new set of earbuds that may accompany the iPhone 5. It appears the headphones expected to come packaged with the next-generation iPhone have undergone a significant redesign.
The iPhone 5 accessory appeared in a video posted on the website, but a new version without the audio has replaced the original version. Mac Rumors was able to translate the audio track before it disappeared.
"In my hands are the new earphones for the iPhone 5 that is about to come out -- Apple's next generation iPod," the narrator said in the video, which also compares the earbuds to those of the iPhone 4S. "These will replace the current earphones that are on the market."
According to the video, the headphones were manufactured in the Phax Co. factory in Vietnam, and the new offering will feature an entirely different form factor than its predecessor.
"They have the appearance of a horse's head, not like earbuds," the narrator said. "When they are worn, they have a much smaller profile. They have the appearance of a fully integrated, single unit -- there's no part that looks like it will come apart -- not like earbuds; the integrated design is characteristic of Apple products."
These new earphones to be released with the iPhone 5 are also said to be designed so they do not hurt when placed in a user's ears, resulting in a more comfortable experience.
This revamp would make sense, as previous rumors have indicated that Apple is planning to redesign the body of the iPhone 5 to make it longer and sleeker than that of the iPhone 4S.
Although the iPhone 5 has not been unveiled yet, new accessories and cases for the device have already been showcased. At IFA 2012, accessory maker Skech displayed a new case that was a bit taller, complete with an opening for the rumored dock connector.
"It's all a gamble," Skech's Yishay Hornik told the Associated Press, according to Fox News. However, he did not seem worried about getting the details and features wrong, even though they haven't been announced yet.
Other smartphone accessory makers seem to share this confidence.
"The leaks that are out there I think are spot-on," a representative of accessory company Zagg told the AP.
Zagg plans to be ready by the end of September, but it is waiting on devices that plug into the iPhone because it is unclear what the new rumored dock connector will look like.
Rumors predict that the release date for the iPhone 5 will come on Sept. 21, nine days after an event that will announce the device publicly. However, it is unknown whether this will hold up as true, especially as electronics manufacturer Sharp has reportedly fallen behind on its production schedule for the iPhone 5 display, according to Reuters.
An unnamed source told the news agency that Sharp is battling high costs and manufacturing difficulties that have affected the profit the company is expected to make on the screen production. The source, who is familiar with Sharp's production operations, did not say how far behind schedule the manufacturer is.
On Aug. 2, Reuters reported Sharp had begun mass production and shipments from central Japan throughout the month, but it did not specify the company's relationship with Apple.
The iPhone 5 display is expected to use new technology known as "in-cell" panels to create an even thinner, sleeker display than in the past. This is different than the "on-cell" panels used in current iPhone models, and it will combine the touch-screen elements of the display with the LCD component to eliminate a layer, making the display slimmer.
The next-generation iPhone is also expected to feature LTE connectivity, tougher glass, an improved camera, redesigned speaker grills, a bigger and thinner front plate, OLED display, a migrated earphone jack, iOS 6 (including many Siri improvements and Apple Maps), and much more.
Check out our full list of rumored features here, and view the video below to see the earbuds that are said to be included with the iPhone 5 release.