iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Release Date, Features: Next iPhone’s Home Button Photos Leaked, Suggest Rounded Square Look. Concept Phones

As always, Apple is mum about its next generation iPhone, presumably called the iPhone 5. There has not been any official word about the device's features or its release timeframe. However, that hasn't stopped the rumors to flow in, making the wait for the highly anticipated smartphone even more exciting.

After last week's leak about home buttons, which were claimed to be part of the next iPhone, another purported iPhone 5 element has reportedly been listed by parts vendor SW-BOX on its website. The vendor took to its Twitter page and posted information on a claimed iPhone 5 SIM card tray, fresh from one of its parts suppliers, MacRumors reported.

The tray, as showed in the photos, appears to be strikingly similar to that of the iPhone 4 and 4S. That said, if the part indeed belongs to the upcoming iteration of the iPhone, the device will very likely retain the flat-edged form factor of the existing model, according to CydiaBlog.

As the MacRumors report noted, a flat-edged form factor contradicts earlier reports suggesting that the sixth generation iPhone would feature a tapered or rounded-edge design that would likely require a somewhat curved exterior surface for the tray or at least a thinner tray profile as was seen in earlier iPhone models such as the 3G and 3GS.

The claims related to the tapered or rounded-edge design corresponded to rumors that the new iPhone would accommodate smaller nano-SIM. Many earlier reports said that Apple was planning to create a smaller SIM card for its future devices that include the next iPhone.

In March, the Christian Post cited another report by the Financial Times, which said that Apple hoped to gain a competitive edge over its rivals by being the first to shrink down the size of the component.

Apple reportedly submitted a proposal for a standardized SIM card design smaller than the micro-SIM cards. The nano-SIM cards would be much thinner and smaller that the micro-SIM cards found in devices like the existing iPhone 4S, and would allow more space for other functions.

However, MacRumors said that despite pushing for its own nano-SIM standard, Apple had not been able to win approval as rivals have objected to the proposal and offered their own designs for a smaller next-generation SIM card.

Unsurprisingly, it appears that a smaller nano-SIM design will not be ready in time to be included in the next-generation iPhone, the report added.

As mentioned earlier, this is not the first time when the claimed iPhone 5 parts surfaced over the internet. Last week, Apple Bitch reported that Chinese parts vendor TVC-Mall had begun selling iPhone 5 home buttons in both black and white on its website. However, the site later pulled them down.

The home buttons appeared on TVC-Mall's site were round in shape, much like iOS app icons, and were slightly different from the round home buttons seen on other iOS devices.

Apple iPhone 5 And Predictions

The Cupertino tech giant is expected to unveil the next generation iPhone later this year, with many analysts betting on the September-October timeframe for the release, and if rumors are to be believed, the device will be significantly thinner this time.

Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes reported, citing sources in Apple's supply chain, that the next iPhone would feature in-cell touch panels, making it a thinner and lighter device altogether. The in-cell touch panels basically put together touch functionality with the TFT (thin-film transistor) manufacturing process, which helps get rid of the need for additional glass.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, using the in-cell touch panels could result in thickness savings of as much as 0.44mm by removing the separate touch sensor layer and one layer of adhesive, Apple Insider reported.

The current iPhone 4S is 9.3mm thick, and Kuo said that Apple wanted to break the 8mm mark with its next iPhone. He predicted that the depth of the next iPhone would measure 7.90mm.

Other features that are most likely to be incorporated in the upcoming iPhone model include a 4-inch Retina display, an A5X Variant chip, 1GB RAM, iOS 6, 4G LTE technology, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, improved Siri, liquidmetal casing, an 8 megapixel (or even higher) rear camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting and a much-improved battery life.

As per the sales, analysts are predicting that iPhone 5 will boost Apple's profits once it's available in the market.

Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes saw Apple's stock as well within the 6-month range when shares benefit in anticipation of a major iPhone product cycle. Reitzes reiterated his overweight rating and $750 price target on the stock, Barron's reported.

In a note to investors, Reitzes wrote that it was time to start thinking about the Worldwide Developer Conference in June. According to him, this year's WWDC could preview new portables - new iOS software and more features around OS X Mountain Lion.

We believe that investors are concerned that iPhone shipments in the June and September quarters will be impacted in anticipation of the iPhone 5, but we believe any impact to EPS will be temporary, Reitzes wrote.

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