That seems to be one of the big Apple questions these days, and your guess is as good as mines! There are plenty of rumors, leaked parts, speculations, and interesting concepts making their rounds in tech media, but they all have one thing in common – they are based on a best guess.
Image source: Antoine Brieux – NAK Studio
As always Apple is keeping their cards very close and will likely do so until they are ready to reveal the next (sixth) generation of the iPhone to the world, which may or may not be sometime between June and October of this year, depending on who you choose to belive. The majority of speculations at the moment seem to be around how different the design of the iPhone 5 (unless they choose to call it the new iPhone) will be, will they use liquid metal casing, and of course, will it get a larger screen. Sounds like a broken record right? Some of these speculations are the same as we saw last year ahead of the launch of the iPhone 4S.
Lets start with the casing. Earlier rumors around liquid metal and new screen technology is still going strong, with some interesting concepts being developed predicting what the next iPhone might look like. Will Apple go radically different in design? Not likely, but there is always the chance that they will look to make some enhancements, utilizing new technology and production methods to make it even thinner and lighter. An example of one of these concepts can be seen above.
The week has also seen leaked parts from an alleged parts supplier for the next generation iPhone; one of a SIM tray that indicated similar layout as the current iPhone model, and another of the headphone jack that is different and indicating a redesign, at least of the inside of the device.
It is Cydiablog (via Macrumors) that presents this part image, which to be fair could be of a prototype and not necessarily the final production unit, which for all we know Apple has not decided on yet.
Most of the concepts and speculations all have the iPhone receiving a larger screen and slimmer body. The larger screen rumour has been going on for a couple of years now, but can perhaps seem more likely given the popularity of some competitor phones sporting +4-inch screens. However, Apple has traditionally not followed the competitors and instead stayed true to their own ideas, which to be fair has worked out great for them so far, so i would not be surprised if the screen size does not change much for the next iPhone either, especially if there are any truth in the 7-inch iPad rumors.
Another design/functionality question that once again has popped up is around the dock connector. What are the chances that Apple will introduce a new and smaller dock connector? The main issue would of course be around all the accessories that would no longer be compatible with new versions with a smaller dock connector (unless use of adapters). Then again, many have speculated that Steve Jobs was always looking to remove as many cables from the iOS devices as possible, so perhaps future devices will be all about wireless connectivity. It might rub some users the wrong way, but we can’t stop evolution, or Apple finding new ways to make us spend more money with them.