By Jonathan Charles | Jul 19, 2012 09:30 PM EDT
The iPhone 5 will reportedly feature a 4-inch screen, consequently making the phone taller. Apple is apparently going to retain the current iPhone 4S form factor, aside from the increased display size, and the rumors seem further legitimized through cases for the form factor. Some rumors have pointed towards Apple widening the phone with a 4-inch screen, similar to the Galaxy Note.
All the cases available now for the iPhone 5 show a bigger screen and smaller dock connector - the latter reportedly will render previous iPhone connections useless. Since Apple informs case manufacturers beforehand of the specifications, it's not surprising that some surface online. However, users cannot buy the cases individually as only bulk orders are available.
Alibaba is the website listing the cases and is a site for ordering items in bulk from the supplier. Therefore, it's probably not meant for the average consumer, unless owning an excessive amount of cases for a rumored device sounds like a good idea.
Cases are probably more popular in current iPhones because of the glass back on both iPhone 4 and 4S. Users have consistently claimed the phones' backs easily break and Apple is rumored to be replacing the glass back in the iPhone 5. Cases also add bulk to the devices and, therefore, may not be attractive to some users.
Of course, leaked cases hinting towards future iPhone designs aren't a novelty. It happened before when the iPhone 4 launched with Apple introducing a slimmer design and the controversial antenna feature. In 2011, it was the larger speaker introduction in the iPad 2. The case leaks even premeditated the announcement of the iPod Nano and Touch, revealing a camera was coming.
While nothing is certain until Apple unveils the iPhone 5, a 4-inch display looks likely as photos and cases and anonymous sources all revealed the same information.
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was against the form factor, describing the 3.5-inch display on current iPhones as ideal. Jobs had a history of introducing ideas he was against. He had said that Apple would never build an iPhone because of the need to work with carriers and that a 7-inch iPad - despite rumors from The Wall Street Journal - won't happen.
Clearly, Apple is aware of the competition, meaning that a 7-inch iPad and 4-inch iPhone are needed if the market demand is available.
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