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iPhone 5 rumour round-up - thinner, bigger screen, September 12th debut?
By Jon Mundy 16 August 2012
Game Name: iPhone 5 | Manufacturer: Apple | Format: iPhone
Have you heard? There's probably going to be a new iPhone coming out soon. Yes, we were shocked, too.

Of course, the inevitability of the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple decides to call it) doesn't blunt our excitement for it in the slightest. As it has been for the previous five years, the launch of a new iPhone will be the biggest smartphone story of the year.

Yes, we are aware of the Samsung Galaxy S III. It was a very big deal. But, this is bigger.

Such fevered anticipation for the new iPhone has led to even more speculation, rumours, and seemingly solid leaks than ever before. Well, okay, maybe not as solid as that whole lost iPhone 4 fiasco back in 2010. But, it's definitely next in line.

With that in mind, let's look at some of the relevant iPhone 5 rumours that have served to paint a particularly vivid picture of what Apple's next-gen blower will look like.

Bigger display

Let's start with the long-expected and arguably the biggest change to the iPhone design itself. It's almost certain to have a bigger screen.

You can't really exaggerate what a massive step this is for the range. Every iPhone in existence has sported a 3.5-inch display, with the late great Steve Jobs adamant that this was the optimal screen size for a touch-driven phone.

That's all set to change with the iPhone 5, but don't go expecting an Android-like ballooning. All reports suggest that the iPhone 5 screen will increase by no more than half an inch.

In fact, the biggest change isn't so much the 4-inch size as it is the aspect ratio, with the iPhone finally set to go full 16:9 widescreen - which is where that extra half an inch will come from.

Revolutionary super-thin screen

The size of the iPhone 5's screen will mark a radical departure for the Cupertino kids, but it won't be viewed as revolutionary in a wider context. However, the way in which the display is manufactured could well be.

So-called in-cell technology squishes the usual three-layer process of making touchscreen interfaces into just two.

The benefits of such an approach: a brighter, clearer picture and a thinner device overall.



Thinner unibody chassis

Speaking of a thinner device, while its chassis will obviously have to be slightly longer than previous versions in order to accommodate that new screen, the iPhone 5 could well be the skinniest iPhone yet.

According to Chinese site Apple.pro, it could be as slim as 7.6mm - that's a startling 1.7mm thinner than the iPhone 4S.

In addition to these changes to its dimensions, the iPhone 5 will apparently sport an all-new design. Well, we say 'all-new' - judging by the pictures (see more like the main image at iLab) and videos doing the rounds, it'll still bear some resemblance to the square-edged iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

But, the fragile glass back may well be a thing of the past, replaced by a solid MacBook Pro-style metallic unibody design.



New dock connector

One other element these leaked images consistently point to is a new, smaller dock connector for the new iPhone. Like with the screen, this will prove a radical move by The Big A if the rumour turns out to be true.

There's been a lot of speculation over exactly how small the new iPhone connector will be, but most commentators assume that it will be a compact 8-pin or 9-pin connector. Current iPhones (and iPads) use a massive 30-pin connector.

French blog Nowhereelse claims to have pictures of the new connector, if you fancy a look.

You probably don't because it's a bit boring. But, there are benefits to changing the iPhone's chief connection point... and not just for speaker dock manufacturers.

It's chiefly a matter of saving space - Apple then has more wiggle room to produce the sleek and slim device we're rumoured to be getting.



Nano-SIM

It's not just the iPhone 5's outer components that appear to have been snapped and leaked. At least one mucky pup has been fiddling around inside it, too.

While we don't know exactly which processor the iPhone 5 will run on (let's assume the A5X or an A6), we may well have seen its motherboard. This gives us a couple of choice hints as to some of the phone's likely capabilities.

Chinese blog WeiPhone took the following snap. It appears to show a new nano-SIM slot - which will be even smaller than the micro-SIM standard found in the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Nokia Lumia 900.



September 12th launch, September 21st release

So, when are we likely to see Apple's next box of tricks? The majority of the industry's most respected sources believe The Big A will host a September 12th launch event for the iPhone 5, followed by a September 21st release.

So, that's where we stand with the iPhone 5 at present. While all of the above is in truth rumour and speculation, it's pretty convincing.

Roll on September 12th!
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