New iPhone 5 rumors point to "radical new case," August release

Ready for the iPhone 5? A prominent rumor blog, with a decent batting average, reports that Apple will announce its next model in August. But will the iPhone 5 get a brand new look?

Don't get too comfortable with the iPhone 4. Apple's next handset could have a "radical new" shape, according to Boy Genius Report.

The iPhone 5 will be a new, fully redesigned product – rather than an updated iPhone 4 – with a "radical new case design," according to rumor site Boy Genius Report.

Over the last few months, some developers have been given access to an iPhone 4 with updated internal hardware (dubbed the "iPhone 4S" by blogs), giving rise to the rumor that the next iPhone would maintain the same case design as the current model.

BGR's announcement of a fully-redesigned phone complements an earlier prediction from Thisismynext. The tech site reported that the iPhone 5 could be thinner than the current iPhone, with a teardrop-shaped case that would taper from top to bottom, giving it a profile similar to the MacBook Air computer. This new rumor also meshes with an earlier one that Apple has purchased machines capable of cutting curved glass, which would allow it to give the iPhone 5 a sleek, tapered case.

So when will the next iPhone – with or without a svelte new profile – be announced?

Last year, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California – but this year's WWDC has already come and gone with nary a mention of the iPhone 5. (Instead, Steve Jobs announced iOS 5 and the iCloud syncing service). Tech sites are generally predicting an iPhone announcement at Apple's next annual event, a September presentation that's traditionally focused on iPods.

But Boy Genius Report, citing the same "reliable source," says the company may break tradition to hold an event early in August, making the iPhone 5 available by the end of the month. It's not clear whether this means the public would get to see redesigned iPods a little earlier than usual, or whether an August announcement would be part of a separate, iPhone-specific event.

It's still unclear if iPhone 5 will have a 4G antenna. Speedy 4G networks are already available across most of the country. However, Apple has an odd history with new standards. It champions some immediately (Thunderbolt), abandons others prematurely (Flash), and only embraces them on Apple's terms. Remember that the original iPhone didn't have 3G, even though 3G networks blanketed the US at the time.

Another question mark lingers over NFC (near field communication), a technology that would allow the phone to make a credit card payment or serve as an ID card. NFC is already scheduled to appear in some Android phones by the end of the year.

Would you be more tempted to buy an iPhone 5 if it had a new shape? What's your take on these rumors? Let us know in the comments section below.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.