So, it turns out the iPhone 5 was in fact a real device, ready for eager Apple fans to get their grubby mitts all over – Apple just decided to scrap it at the very last minute. Word from an anonymous source speaking to Business Insider is that a fully redesigned iPhone was due to be let loose in the public domain, but was given the heave-ho only a few months before the phone's official October launch.
Apparently, Apple engineers spent three months prodding and swiping a prototype that had chopped some of the fat off the 4's design, rocked a bigger 4in screen with better colour detail, had an aluminium back panel a la iPad 2 and came minus a physical home button. It's also thought the new iPhone was supposed to sport a 10MP lens and feature Apple's digital assistant technology, simply called Assistant, as opposed to the Siri moniker we've come to know.
So why the last minute scrappage? It turns out Jobs wasn't happy with the bigger screen because it "fragmented" the iPhone range – Apple's biggest gripe against Android and its army of handsets.
It goes without saying that there was genuine, widespread disappointment when Apple announced the iPhone 4S. The bottom line is, everyone expected the wildly speculated iPhone 5, but instead, got a handset that was more incremental than revolutionary. It didn't help that in the run up to the launch of the next-gen iPhone, the rumour mill was working serious overtime, further fuelling our confusion and disappointment.
With only one anonymous source for the story – and no one else stepping forward to verify their claims – we are of course treating it with a bucket of salt. But we'd like to think all those rumours must have stemmed from somewhere. Still, we suspect Apple will be putting the finishing touches on the next iPhone – and iPad, for that matter – which will hopefully make their debuts next year.
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Buttonless iPhone concept (by ConceptsiPhone)