A set of leaked photos, claimed to be of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next-generation iPhone, dubbed “iPhone 5S,” surfaced online on Monday, suggesting that the new handset's design could be largely identical to that of the iPhone 5.
The purported iPhone 5S logic board, first reported by Japanese website Macotakara, did not include a processor, but the space for the component appeared to be of the same size found on the existing iPhone 5 logic board.
The iPhone 5S logic board also seems to incorporate a slightly different position for the screw hole. However, the rest of the component looks similar to that of the iPhone 5.
Rumors are rife that the 2013 model of Apple’s flagship smartphone will feature almost the same form factor as its predecessor. Therefore, the leaked photo of the device’s logic board in question appears to be in line with the current buzz.
As for the missing processor on the iPhone 5S board, the available space suggests that the processor for the new phone could use the same 32-nanometer process employed to manufacture the A6 and A6X chips that power the iPhone 5 and the iPad 4, respectively.
Also, earlier reports had suggested that Apple would adopt 28-nanometer A7 chips, developed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (NASDAQ: TSM), for the “iPhone 6” in 2014.
Photos claiming to be that of the iPhone 5S' display assembly have also appeared on the Internet, showing a flex-cable orientation, indicating that the previously leaked photos of the iPhone 5S logic board were genuine.
Although the iPhone 5S is expected to have a design nearly identical to that of the iPhone 5, there is an internal difference between the two models in terms of the flex connectors, attached to the logic board. While the iPhone 5 has two cables with horizontally disposed connectors, the leaked iPhone 5S display assembly suggests one vertical connector and one horizontal.
“This corresponds to the logic board seen in the photos earlier today, with a vertical connector near the top inside edge of the board and a horizontal one along the top edge,” MacRumors reported.
The next iPhone iteration is expected to feature a fingerprint sensor in place of the iconic Home button. The new capability is expected to allow users to avoid manual password entry and allow for new capabilities like more secure e-wallet transactions. In addition, the iPhone 5S is also likely to sport a faster processor, better display and an improved camera.
Apple is reportedly hard at work preparing for a September release of the iPhone 5S. The company is also rumored to start production of the handset in the June-to-August quarter.
“It typically takes 60-90 days of production before the phone is introduced to retail. And it hasn’t gone into production, yet, so if we assume production starts in June, that would mean the soonest you’d be able to get it would be late August/early September,” said Jeffries analyst Peter Misek.