The rumors surrounding Apple's next generation iPhone have been around for quite some time now. On top of that, a new report, based on information from a reliable source at Foxconn in China, spiced up the whole plot.

The report says the iPhone 5 - or whatever Apple would like to name it - is ready for production and is likely to hit stores in the summer.

We received word from a reliable source at Foxconn in China that the iPhone 5, as it is currently being called, is now gearing for production, 9to5Mac reported.

If we follow patterns and give a five month-ish lead time, it would appear that Apple is back on its new iPhone launch for summer/WWDC pattern that it maintained until last year, the report stated further.

The source at Foxconn, apparently more forthcoming with information, also shared some other interesting information about the next iteration of the iPhone.

According to 9to5Mac's source, various sample devices (or prototypes) are currently floating around. These vary only slightly from each other. Their points of commonality are:

- 4+ inch display (made by LG on at least one of them).

- No teardrop-shaped devices, as rumored earlier. Samples so far have been symmetrical in thickness (also longer/wider).

- None of the sample devices have the form factor of the iPhone 4 or 4S.

- None of the devices are the final versions.

In November last year, an iLounge report shared almost the same details, claiming a next-generation iPhone with a 4-inch display but without a teardrop shape was on track to be introduced in summer of 2012.

9to5Mac said their Foxconn source was the same one who indicated, late last summer, Apple was preparing for the iPhone 4S model and not the iPhone 5, as suggested by the prevailing tide of information.

Another report, this time from Digital Trends, went even further. The report suggested the Cupertino tech giant may opt for 4G LTE networks on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, since the new model (if release rumors are true) will launch less than a year after the release of the iPhone 4S, a state of affairs that could hurt its sales figures.

In fact, Apple could even call the new device the iPhone 4G rather than the iPhone 5, the report added.

Why Not a Teardrop iPhone?

However, according to Daring Fireball's Apple pundit John Gruber, Apple is not gearing up for the iPhone 5's production. Gruber has even cast his doubt on the claim the smartphone is likely to be longer and wider than the existing model.

Longer and wider? Sounds like bullshit, Gruber said, I can see Apple putting a bigger display on a device of the same size. I can't see them making a bigger device. Gruber also pointed out that a teardrop design would be unbalanced and strange to hold horizontally in one hand.

Nevertheless, Apple's rivals - companies like Motorola - have already employed a teardrop-like design in their devices; the Motorola Droid X and Droid RAZR are examples, with both having humps at one end. Has anyone faced unstable weight issues?

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