Now that Apple has officially announced their October 4th media event, speculation about the iPhone 4S/iPhone 5 will soon come to an end, with the main question on many people’s minds still being whether Apple will release a redesigned iPhone 5, or a new iPhone 4S-like device that resembles a beefed-up iPhone 4.
Rumors have arisen in past months detailing leaked measurements for the iPhone 5, news sources have been reporting on a possible slimmer, lighter and tapered iPhone 5 with a wider home button, and leaked iPhone 5 cases have been popping up left and right.
It appears that there may be some new information about where these ideas came from, however, as a new MIC Gadget report claims that an iPhone 5 prototype went missing from Apple manufacturer Foxconn in Shenzen, China, which could explain why so many leaked iPhone cases are all over in China today.
The missing iPhone prototype was reportedly enclosed in a case to disguise it, and was said to be a test model with Apple’s final chassis design featuring a teardrop-like shape with modified iPhone 4 components inside.
The person who supposedly stole the prototype wiped the device’s software immediately, prevent Apple from being able to track the device. The prototype was then allegedly sold to an iPhone case manufacturer for a price of RMB ¥20,000 (around $3,100). Oddly, the report also suggests that the person who “lost” tje device was paid to do so, despite the fact that Foxconn penalized internal management for the incident.
This actually all seems to make sense – if the device was sold to a case manufacturer, then the fact that a huge number of iPhone 5 cases were already circulating months before the device’s release seems to have a solid explanation. All of the 3rd party iPhone 5 cases I have seen reflect the same teardrop design and thinner, wider, and longer measurements. It seems very much like all of these manufacturers likely got their information from the same source.
Another possibility is that the leaked design specifications that surfaced in July may be to blame, although that naturally raises the question of where those designs came from – possibly from an illegally obtained iPhone 5 prototype.
None of this is verified, of course, though it is very interesting. Head on over to MIC Gadget for the full story.