According to BGR, the design of the next iPhone will be radically different from the glass and aluminum rectangle made famous by the iPhone 4 and 4S. According to the information, which was obtained via a “close source,” this new iPhone will feature an aluminum back, larger screen and redesigned antennae. The post also mentions the presence of a plastic or rubber material similar to that of the iPhone bumpers, which is supposed to cover the new antennae (which goes around the entire phone) and join the screen to the body.
Most of this stuff isn’t new. In fact, we’ve been hearing basically this exact description of the “next-gen iPhone” for about two or three years now. The only bit that seems new to me is the plastic bezel. According to the BGR article,
“Apple is planning to use a rubber or plastic material – similar to the material used in the company’s bumper cases – that will be built into the new iPhone case. In all likelihood, this material will be used as a bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone (like the iPhone 3GS bezel)”
Now, I’m the “plastic bezel” on the iPhone 3GS right now (below), and it’s pretty minute. In fact, most people probably don’t even know it’s there. If this is what the BGR article is talking about, then fine. But that seems like a pretty ridiculous detail to mention in a post on physical design, considering it basically makes no aesthetic difference.
That’s what made me think that this could be suggesting a much more prominent rubber bezel, maybe even one that sticks out to provide lay-on-the-table protection… like a built-in bumper. See, now that’s just revolting. There’s no way Apple would do anything like that to its prized mobile phone. I’m a bit confused as to why this tiny bit of information was mentioned, but rest assured that if this plastic/rubber material does appear on the new iPhone, you probably won’t even notice it.
Other than that, all the other design changes sound pretty good. I’d love to see an aluminum back. Don’t get me wrong, the glass backs are beautiful and all but I’m worried enough about dropping my phone and cracking the front… I don’t really want to have to worry about cracking the back too. The aluminum back is sleek, sturdy and feels great in the hand. I’d feel much more comfortable carrying my phone with no case and just a screen protector if the back was aluminum.
As far as the screen size is concerned, I’m torn. I’d love to see a slightly larger screen (maybe 3.8 inches), but I’m not sure if it’s possible. There are hundreds of thousands of iPhone applications in the App Store that are designed to fit a 3.5-inch display. Changing the size could render those apps incompatible, so unless Apple finds a way to make the apps work on a bigger display, I don’t think it’ll happen. Also, if it does happen, I really hope the overall size of the phone stays the same, and the bezel simply gets smaller. I love the size of the current iPhone and would hate to see it turn out like one of those giant Android phones which are more tablet than cellphone.
This new device is allegedly set to launch in the fall of next year. Well, if this information is accurate. And, let’s be honest, it probably isn’t. That’s not to say that some of the stuff it’s suggesting won’t come true, but the sketchy sources and BGR’s record with these kinds of rumors lead me to believe that this particular report probably isn’t factually correct. Even still, though, it’d be nice to see some of this stuff on the next iPhone. The current design is definitely getting a bit tired.
What do you guys think about all this? Are you buying the rubber bezel, larger screen and aluminum back, or do you think we’ll see a new iPhone with a similar design to the 4 and 4S? Are you just staying away from these rumors all together and waiting for an official announcement? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter.