Purported ‘iPhone 5G’ case shows edge-to-edge screen, repositioned flash module

“A very early instance of a 2011 iPhone case has shown up in a listing at Asian trading site AliBaba,” Elecronista reports.

“Guangdong-based Kulcase is selling what it claims is a crystal case for an ‘iPhone 5G,'” Elecronista reports. “The construction and the placeholder inside it suggest not only a larger, edge-to-edge screen but that the flash has moved from directly next to the rear camera to the corner on the other side, presumably to improve its performance.”

Electronista reports, “Whether or not the case is accurate is difficult to determine. Some rumors have pointed to a radical overhaul of the iPhone for this year that would support the existence of an edge-to-edge screen and possibly other changes. Others have pointed to just a modest iPhone 4 respin, although at least one of these has referenced an edge-to-edge display.”

Read more in the full article here.

18 Comments

  1. EVERY iOS device has had side to side symmetry in body shape, whether the device was being held vertically or horizontally. I’m not talking about the location of buttons, speakers, microphones, cameras, etc. I’m talking about the overall shape, thickness of device, and location of display.

    I can believe that the iPhone display will eventually go “edge-to-edge” on the long sides. However, Apple will not make the “border” (handle) with the Home button larger than the opposite side. And Apple will not “taper” the shape so that it is thicker on one end versus the other. The picture in the linked article looks unrefined and inelegant.

    It’s only been one year since Apple released the Retina Display, as part of a major iPhone overhaul. I tend to believe that the overall design of the next iPhone will be similar to the current iPhone, with the major improvement being the dual-core A5.

    1. +1
      Better camera, A5, GSM/CDMA world phone and iOS 5 will be all Apple needs to do on the next phone. I think the major revision will happen next year with a LTE iPhone. Assuming they can get the power consumption in check.

    1. That joke’s only funny if it were a Japanese-based company. Both the official (Mandarin) and Guangdong (Cantonese) Chinese dialects have plenty of characters with the “L” sound in them.

  2. Who said making the screen edge-to-edge means that the actual screen itself has to be bigger and therefore the resolution will drop? They could just make the entire phone smaller, dropping the bulky bezel on each side, including dumping the home button. Just simply cut the thick bezel on each long end. I saw a patent where they had a camera integrated into the actual pixels/screen of a device, so they could “mesh” the camera right into the screen.

    As for the home button, who needs it, what with iOS 5 and new multitasking gestures lurking.

    By dumping the home button, they’ll free up some space inside that they’ll need because of them cutting the bezels off, thereby making the overall space they have to work with smaller.

    I think we could see something like this (minus the semi-colons):

    “The new iPhone 5, we’ve done it again. 3.5” edge-to-edge Retina Display; 33% smaller!; 25% lighter!; 15% thinner!; same long battery life; A5 dual-core processor; comes in 32 and 64 GB flavours white or black or zebra…

    We just have to look at the iPod Touch as a model for what I think they really want to achieve with the iPhone. Look at the iPad 2: it’s design is, in many ways, identical to the iPod Touch 4G. And Steve Jobs is very keen on the iPod Touch 4G, talking about how it’s an iPhone without the contract. Look to a thin, tapered iPod Touch-like design for the next iPhone. Guaranteed.

    I never liked the iPhone 4: looks like a mash up of an iPod Touch and Braun Mixer. A clunker really.

    1. I have to disagree about the home button.
      The device needs to have a dedicated mechanical button that takes you back to start. One you don’t have to ‘look’ for.

      The reason it needs to be a physical button is it has to override/overrule all software. Though it doesn’t happen often, I occasionally have apps that lockup and quit responding. Without a physical button to tell the OS ‘stop what you are doing now and take me to neutral’ you would have to use the on/off button at the top (this is assuming current hardware config just with a missing home button)

      The other button at the top has a different function so it shouldn’t be used for this.

      Additionally a ‘soft’ home button would require every developer to account for it on every view (or apple would have to stick one in every app). How would like to have a big ‘home’ button always staring you in the face in your favorite game?

      Now Apple could reserve a part of the screen at the bottom for a soft home button but it would be wasted space. In other words you already have space at the bottom of the device for other hardware goodies such as speakers, dock connecter etc… So a home button at the bottom costs almost nil in terms of real estate.

      One other good thing about the physical home button is you don’t have to look for it to use it, a soft home button would be a PITA as you would have to look for it as there is not tactile feedback.

    2. I forgot to bring this up. Yes, Apple could add a ‘home’ gesture however, that would be a huge PITA.

      Here is why, first it would almost certainly require two hands. Seems to me that all the simple gestures that one can make one handed while holding the phone (with only the thumb free) have been used, for something else.

      Do you really want to use two hands and make a magic gesture like a story book mage just to get to the home screen? Isn’t easier to just slide your thumb over to the mechanical button? It is like a stick shift, it becomes instinctive and can be done on mental auto-pilot, with one hand. A ‘home’ gesture would be cool because it is an alternative be we still need the easy button.

        1. But then you’ll get people accidentally pressing the Home button on the back, complaints pour in, and Jobs will issue an email saying “Don’t hold it like that”

          ;-D

      1. Indeed a “home swipe” would not be intuitive (if the entire front is a screen). A physical button you can at least press and see what it does. I tried out a Playbook in the store and got stuck in the camera app–there was no obvious way to get out of it. Finally had to look it up, you have to swipe up from the bottom of the bezel, to activate the task switcher. Wasn’t just me either–two other people tried getting out of the camera app while I looked up the answer.

  3. Be wary of Alibaba. They are liars, thieves, spammers and all-round bad corporate citizens. Don’t ever give them your email addy or you’ll never escape from their intense spamming regime.

  4. Riars! Hahaha I call this fake! And the screen is close enough to the edge on the 4 as it is! Only thing to change will be the shape, back etc as well as speed 🙂

  5. The Home Button is the iPhone’s Achilles’s Heal. It needs to bite the dust. With use over time, it breaks down and becomes unresponsive. Surely you’ve noticed this: needing to press the Home Button down repeatedly to return to Home or to simply just quit an app. Pressing harder, faster, in the center, holding it down longer. These are all useless, magical thinking-based endeavours aimed at activating an unresponsive mechanical button. Who needs it?

    1. Nope, never had problems with my home button. Had an iPhone 1 and now the 4 gen iphone and never had this problem. It needs a mechanical button. Thats all there is to it. The big problem with an full screen is that there would be no way to hold or rotate the phone as I currently do. I usually “pinch” the phone on either boarder to quickly swing the phone. Can you imagine not being able to hold the phone or touching the screen side without accidentally activating an APP or quiting out of a running app? They are not going to loose the home button. Talk about holding it wrong. And where will the speaker go? to the side?

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