Report: Apple’s Testing The iPhone 5 In iPhone 4 Enclosures, Retina iPad 2 On The Way

Report: Apple’s Testing The iPhone 5 In iPhone 4 Enclosures, Retina iPad 2 On The Way

Over the last few months, the rumor mill has just been incapable of agreeing whether or not the next iPhone will be a modest update on the iPhone 4 called the iPhone 4S, or a more revolutionary update called the iPhone 5. We’ve even heard that Apple will release both an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 in September.

Now ThisIsMyNext is reporting that there is no iPhone 4s at all. Rather, reports of an iPhone 4s have been informed by Apple’s method of testing the iPhone 5 prototype inside of the enclosure of an old iPhone 4.

This Is My Next’s Joshua Topolsky explains:

Simply put, as the iPhone 5 components are built for a smaller and lighter device, they can be easily fit into a casing which for all intents and purposes looks identical to an iPhone 4… and that’s exactly what Apple has been doing. Our sources tell us that the company has been testing the new components in old iPhone cases, for obvious reasons. Some of those reports we’ve heard about a larger screen for the old design would make sense too, as a slight tweak of the size (say, to a 3.7-inch display), would be barely noticeable to the eye, but obvious in internal component design. So if you’ve been wondering why the rumors about the iPhone 4S rose to such a din, now you know.

This isn’t unheard of: Apple famously field tested the iPhone 4 in a case that made it look like the iPhone 3GS.

Why would Apple ditch the iPhone 4 design so quickly? According to Topolsky, the “highest levels” of Apple are ready to move on from the design after the twin debacles of Antennagate and Glassgate.

In the same report, Topolsky confirms that his sources say a high-resolution iPad 2 Plus will be released in September with a display resolution of 2048 x 1536.

Topolsky writes:

he idea behind the product is apparently that it will be a “pro” device aimed at a higher end market — folks who work in video and photo production possibly — and will be introduced alongside something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture. This product is specifically said tonot be the iPad 3, rather a complimentary piece of the iPad 2 line. Think MacBook and MacBook Pro.

We just don’t buy this. Not only has Topolsky been wrong about a Retina Display iPad before — he famously said the iPad 2 would have one — but packing that many pixels into an iPad display is still cost prohibitive. Perhaps Apple could make it work by branding that iPad as an iPad HD and charging more, but I just don’t think it makes sense to split the tablet market between consumers and professionals. What do you think?

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  • Chris

    professionals don’t buy iPads I think…macs are for pros

  • Seth

    ya i think both his points are wrong. “higher ups don’t like the iphone 4 design”? that’s bull. I would bet anything that apple keeps that metal banding around the iPhone 5. Why? because if you glance across a room full of people talking on their smart phones, you couldn’t tell the difference between an htc, motorola, lg etc…but there’s no mistaken an iphone 4. The metal band is akin to alum. macbook and ipad line. 

  • joewaylo

    There are some professionals that have incorporated iPad into their workforce. Commercial businesses have (Best Buy, Hardware Store Lowes, Apple), Lawyers, Doctors, Musicians, and many more.
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=p
    Other professionals may not even buy an iPad nor a Mac. Depends on their environment. Windows XP is still widely used despite all support revoked by Microsoft. Laptops, Desktops, and many others still rely on Windows XP.

  • iDaBoss

    That’s BS. the iPhone 4 is beautiful and perfect, why would they mess with a good design. What kind of stupid site name is thisismynext?

  • Jeff Householder

    Where’s the link to the story?

  • J. Eric Dimacali

    Sounds very familiar…hmmm.  MS Office for Students and Teachers Edition, MS Office Standard, MS Office Premium, MS Office Professional, MS Office Gold Edition, blah blah blah…

    Wonder if Apple will go the route of splitting the market like MS did, too?  Hope not…and @ christoph1992…I agree.  Why would pros buy iPads anyway?  Unless it is for their kids so they don’t mess with daddy’s (or mommy) Mac.  The whole premise behind the iPad was to create a “consuming” not “producing” portable device, making things simpler for the light computer users.

  • X

    Ok, suppose all (or some) of this stuff gets released this fall.  What does that mean for those of us on the regular June/summer upgrade cycle.  Is there going to be something even newer next spring?

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    I don’t necessarily believe the iPad HD rumor, but if Apple could offer a higher resolution display iPad at the same price point, I think that would just about crush the rest of the tablet competition.  They probably couldn’t afford to copy it.  I’m not saying it’s a must have feature, but I think consumers would certainly like a higher resolution display on a tablet if they can get it.

    If the next iPhone only has a faster processor and slightly larger display that would certainly suit me.  I don’t know why consumers would necessarily be demanding of a complete redesign of the iPhone.  Let it come in different colors and I think that would be just as good.  Third-party accessory vendors wouldn’t have to update all their existing inventory.  I’m only certain that whatever Apple does, it probably is going to work out well for consumers.

    I don’t think Antennagate or Glassgate would be termed as debacles.  iPhone sales didn’t drop off at all.

  • MacGoo

    Topolski. Enough said – why even waste a story on this? He’s just guessing, as usual.

  • Barton Lynch

    Everyone needs to get over the fact that the iPhone 3GS was a modest upgrade and kept the same design. Apple did it ONE TIME. So everyone needs to stop calling it a pattern.
    It’s plenty likely that the iPhone 5 would have a different design.

  • Paulakero

    there might be a ‘pro’ market (although probably much smaller than the consumer market )

    the screen resolution could be higher but not necessarily ‘retina’ as you tend to hold it further from the eyes.

    some graphic artists use iPads now (as well as some musicians etc). The famous British artist David Hockney uses an iPad. Ever been to an art store? a tube of oil paint can cost $20. For pros the cost of high grade iPad might be justifiable. 

    I’m typing this looking at  wacom Cintiq tablet monitor which when I bought it was near $2000. (many artists today use Wacom tablets).  I would get a high res iPad. 

    othre pro users can be people like doctors, I’ve read they wanted higher resolution screens to see scans etc in more detail. 

    (still I’m not 100% convinced of the pro pad rumor)

  • huyett

     I can’t imagine why they’d stick to a design that requires a case ala the iPhone 4.  They’re going to have to at least change the antenna design, and if they’d make small changes, why stop there?

  • Freek Monsuur

    There are too many iPad versions available already: 16/32/64 GB, black/white, Wifi/3G/Verizon, a total of 18 combinations. Adding a HD version would double this.

    In general I do like a SD / HD distinction for Apple mobile devices. This could reflect into a low-end and a high-end iPhone as well.

  • Hal Thomas

    What does a pretty little band matter when the phone needs to be encased in army-grade, giant plastic casing so it doesn’t smash to smithereens the first time you drop it.  They already made the white iphone4 a little thicker – they know they messed up on the fragility factor.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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