While some iOS fans are still flocking to buy the iPhone 5, one website claims to have found a back panel component that could be from its future successor, presumably the iPhone 5S.
The alleged iPhone part, which was initially published by French website Nowhereelse.fr, features an outside appearance nearly identical to Apple’s iPhone 5. The interior, however, depicts a slightly altered design with differently placed screws. It is unclear as to whether or not this is a component for a future iPhone model or if it is an unused piece that didn’t make it to the iPhone 5’s final build.
The image shows a side-by-side comparison of the components for the iPhone 5 and the unreleased mystery iOS device. Both pictures depict three screws aligned along the right-hand side of these supposed iPhone pieces.
The photo on the right, which illustrates the iPhone 5 back panel, shows two screws located toward the bottom of the panel with a third placed more closely to the top. This has created a sizeable distance between the lower pair of screws and the higher one.
The other image on the left, however, shows the interior back panel of the unreleased Apple handset. In this image, the three pegs appear to be just about equidistant from one another.
To see these images for yourself, click the link to Nowhereelse.fr above or head over to Apple Insider.
It’s hard to say what this could mean for the device, but it does show that Apple has been experimenting with the mechanics for its devices. As stated earlier, this could be an old image from a previous iPhone 5 model, but there is no way to know for sure.
It’s also worth noting that the images mentioned above did not show any information regarding the model number, FCC ID or IMEI number. Previous reportedly leaked prototypes of unreleased devices have included these elements, as Apple Insider points out.
Other than a few minor tweaks, the iPhone 5 marks the first major external design overhaul for Apple’s smartphone since the iPhone 3G launched in 2008. Following the release of its iPhone 3G and iPhone 4, Apple launched subsequent models labeled 3GS and 4S. If Apple keeps with its previous trend, a theoretical iPhone 5S would essentially keep the same body as the iPhone 5 but with alterations made to the handset’s interior.
iPhone 5S Already In Production?
Although it feels like Apple just launched its iPhone 5, the company may have already begun producing sample units of this alleged iPhone 5S. A report from last month added to speculation, as the Commercial Times wrote that Apple will begin “trial production of a new version of its iPhone 5, or iPhone 5S, in December with initial production volumes likely to top 50,000-1000,000 units."
The Chinese news source also reported that mass production of the iPhone 5S could begin around the first quarter of 2013. This could push the handset to launch sooner than expected, possibly in early to mid summer in 2013.
However, it is important to note that the Commercial Times hasn’t always been accurate in the past, and seeing as very little is known about Apple’s seventh generation smartphone, this must remain classified as rumor.
Apple saw a successful launch with its iPhone 5, as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company managed to sell 26.9 iPhone units in Q4 2012. Analysts at invesment bank Canaccord Genuity have also recently said that supply for the iPhone 5 has “dramatically improved,” according to CNET.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter covering mobile technology and video games for The International Business Times. Lisa joined the editorial team at IBT in January 2012, and has...