The next iPhone could feature aluminum back instead of glass, and have the antenna move in

The next iPhone could feature aluminum back instead of glass, and have the antenna move in
If the Chinese Economic Daily News is to be believed, and its record is hit-or-miss, rumors from the supply chain state that the so-called iPhone 5, which should be out in June/July this year, will dispose of the glass back panel for good ol' aluminum.

The reasons cited are the weight of the glass, its tendency to scratch and crack easily, as well as the enormous difficulties Apple encountered in painting it reliably in white. Another change in store for the next iPhone is said to be the antenna steel band surrounding the current iPhone 4, which might be moved back inside now, considering all the issues Cupertino had with the "death grip" and reception.

All valid points, although it will be a shame to bail on such a unique steel-and-glass design. Furthermore, considering the number of rumors about both a cheaper iPhone, and one with a larger screen, it is not entirely clear which one the source is referring to.

The Japanese Mac blog that spread the word links to a supply chain analysis they have cited before, which refers to the next iPhone, but it's not the one that mentions the back panel swap and antenna redesign, so the original source is still to be excavated, if you know Chinese. The Japanese from Macotakara have also sketched up a pretty weak mock-up of what such an iPhone might look like.

What do you think, just another unsubstantiated rumor, wishful thinking, or laws of physics?

Macotakara mock-up of the next iPhone with aluminum back

Macotakara mock-up of the next iPhone with aluminum back


source: EDN (translated) & Macotakara via MacRumors

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB

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29 Comments

1. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

No offence but Looks similar to a 3G/3GS buts really thin i still like the IP4 shape

11. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

The original iPhone had metal backing... you are right, looks like a 3G mixed with the original...

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

if its true, it just proves how much of a real life fail the iphone4 really was that they went backwards in design. What a bunch of panzies. They get bruised by a bad design choice and run back to the original. BLAAAH. "Iphone5, just like the iphone 3, exept now with aluminum!" wooo hooo!!!

14. JeffdaBeat unregistered

...I doubt that's going to happen. We've seen these mock ups before. Hell, we saw a mockup just a few days before the iPad 2 came out that was completely wrong. I could see the aluminum back happening. They seem to be moving away from the plastic shell in most of their products. Plus, I still think making the back glass was a mistake on something as mobile as a cell phone. Just more chances for cracks.

19. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I think you will see something more like the iPhone 4 form factor (square edges) with everything metal behind the screen. Remember, Apple has an exclusive for the consumer electronics market for the LiquidMetal patents (http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/08/09/apple-buys-out-liquidmetal-patents-to-stay-one-step-ahead-in-ma terials-game/ )....

2. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

That's an iPod......

3. PricesIndia

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 07, 2011

Price in India Wow nice look.

4. Knowurplace unregistered

No flash on camera? Did they try to make this look legitimate?

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

This could also be the "cheap iPhone"

6. calamazoo unregistered

Nah, the Japanese blog just took the back of an ipod touch and slapped a white iPhone front to give us an idea what might be coming... this is not the real deal, of course.

7. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Lol. "The design sucks because of all the technical issues it causes, but we don't want them to ditch it because it LOOKS PRETTY!" Basically what Phonearena is saying.

8. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

They should attach a dildo on the back so you can get it up the ass while dropping calls!

9. jgcaap

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

i would prefer the phone for gaming instead of ataching a dildo =P

16. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

yeah but the dildo might make for an ergonomic non slip grip while gaming!

10. skymitch89

Posts: 1451; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

They will probably use that new antenna design where the Apple Logo is the main point for the antenna. Aluminum backing? Wouldn't that make it almost like the other iPhones, pre-iPhone 4?

13. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

For those criticizing the pic, I doubt that's the real prototype. You know how secret Apple is, they're not going to allow the iPhone 5 to be pictured on the net. This is just a sample of what it MAY look like.

15. yeah1 unregistered

Apples' products follow the design cues from the latest introductions; as they have always done. They might follow the theme of the iPad 2; which is highly possible considering a consistent design policy and cost feasibility.

17. therygy

Posts: 94; Member since: May 24, 2010

i loved the design of the iphone 5. this sucks. I have the atrix right now and im returning it it sucks, so im waiting for the next iphone with all the rumors about it going to have a bigger screen. If it looks like this, im not buying it.

18. therygy

Posts: 94; Member since: May 24, 2010

i meant to say "i loved the design of the iphone 4" not 5.. sorry.

20. Gallo unregistered

There is no way this is the new iphone, looks exactly like a 3g/3gs. plus i dont see a face time camera as well as no flash on the rear camera

21. scnix

Posts: 41; Member since: Jul 01, 2010

Wouldn't an aluminium case interfere with the internal antenna?

22. themadhatter unregistered

FULL METAL JACKET!!

23. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

-__- thats a fake picture!!! thats just a white iphone 3gs with iphone4 menu/user Interface (?) and it cant be an iphone5...wheres the front facing cam, the promised bigger screen, buttonless face, 16 mp cam and flash???

25. philly2723 unregistered

its not a 3gs, its the ipad 2, and the front facing cam is there. and there has been no promise of a bigger screen.

24. philly2723 unregistered

its actually the back of the ipad 2 just re-sized, and locations of buttons changed.

26. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

xD giant ipod touch. and yes they did promise a bigger screen -__-"

27. mike unregistered

Fake!!! it has no flash and why would apple go with an old design

28. IOS5 unregistered

At least Apple superior in desgin unlike prick phones need root and lag fix all the time and I think this not real desgin this fake as usual phonearena got it from Chinese sites

29. GEORGE unregistered

Hopefully the i phone 5 blue tooth will have connectivity to all other phones, and also a reference to the delivery message that will be sent ....

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