iPhone 5 rumor mill churns again as more alleged parts show up

More photos, along with a video, appear to show what parts the iPhone 5 may have, have been leaked to the Web.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

More photos and video of parts believed to be part of the yet unannounced iPhone 5 have leaked online.

Japanese smartphone repair company iLab Factory has posted an extensive array of photos of parts it claims belong to the iPhone 5, including what it claims is a fully-assembled body for the handset.


Looking closely at these photos, I have to admit that I'm more than a little skeptical. The overall fit and finish of some of the parts shown -- in particular the case itself -- don't seem to be up to the standard that one would expect from Apple. It's possible that these parts are either elaborate fakes or maybe rejected components from Apple factories.


The photos appear to show an iPhone 5 chassic designed for a 4-inch screen, which is larger than the 3.5-inch screen that Apple currently has on the iPhone.

Japanese site Macotakara also posted a video showing an alleged iPhone 5 chassis fitted with volume control buttons, the mute button and the screen cover.

The chassis shown by both sites appear to be identical to the one leaked by parts reseller ETradeSupply back in June.

The new chassis appears to have the following characteristics:

  • Unibody metal chassis, which could be made from a Liquidmetal alloy;
  • Width appears unchanged;
  • Longer body, suggesting a 4-inch screen;
  • Substantially thinner design;
  • Smaller SIM tray;
  • Headphone jack moved to the bottom;
  • Smaller dock connector;
  • Larger speaker grill;
  • The on/off switch, volume control and mute switch seem to be similar to those found on the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Both the chassis feature the smaller 19-pin dock connector as opposed to the current 30-pin connector. The new connector will save a hefty chunk of space inside the iPhone, as much as 50 percent smaller than the current connector, and it is rumored to feature a magnetic connector, similar to the MagSafe connector found on MacBook systems.

The new dock connector is also rumored to be more water resistant and could be 'chipped' in such a way that unlicensed peripherals -- including possibly cables -- won't work.

It is also rumored that the new chassis is constructed of a special amorphous metal alloy that is almost twice as strong as the strongest titanium alloys called LiquidMetal, however, so far none of the parts suppliers who claim to have their hands on a leaked chassis have confirmed this. 

In August 2012, Apple acquired a license to use LiquidMetal technology, but has yet to use it for anything more exciting than the iPhone's SIM card eject tool.

Image source: iLab Factory, Macotakara/YouTube.

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