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Aug 13, 2012

This Is What the Assembled iPhone 5 Should Look Like

Images and actual YouTube footage of some leaked iPhone 5 parts are finally beginning to draw an accurate picture of what the next-generation smartphone from Apple will look like. The unibody design is all but confirmed, or so believes Don Lehman, a Chicago-based industrial designer, who has decided to release an analysis of the hardware.

Despite being regarded as the first unibody case ever used in a smartphone, Apple’s iPhone enclosure is not all the same piece of metal. Designer Don Lehman says “The leaked design has three pieces of metal instead of four. It still has two U-shaped pieces at the top and bottom, but this time the two flat sides become one single piece of metal that also comprises the back of the device.” “That single piece of metal is the unibody backplate,” he outlines. Apple’s reasons for employing a unibody design are numerous, but the key aspects are strength-to-weight ratio and reduced thickness.

“The same properties that unibody designs give to Apple’s laptops apply to this design as well: stronger, lighter, and thinner,” explains Don. “You can see from this picture the tool path of the CNC machine that made the unibody backplate of this design.” “The tool path sort of looks like the lines that are made when a farmer plows a field. This started out as a single block of metal and the CNC carved that metal out until you have what you see here,” he writes, pointing out to the (first) image below (click to enlarge). Although Lehman is “fairly convinced” that this is what the iPhone 5 will look like, he does take other possibilities into account.

He believes this could also be a very elaborate hoax, though whoever went through the efforts of crafting the parts might as well work on Apple’s design team, he suggests. Another possibility is that this leak is an intentional decoy made by Apple. “Now THAT would be amazing,” writes Lehman. “I’m secretly rooting for this option if only because it would be so diabolically awesome.” The designer also theorizes that it could also be “an early model or sample of a design that Apple is working on.”

iPhone 5 almost fully assembled, lacking the printed circuit board (PCB) and other electronics inside
Images credits to iLab Factory

iLab Factoryが入手した、次期iPhoneと思われるパーツ
Video credits to macotakara


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