Did Chinese Case Manufacturers Manage to Buy a Foxconn iPhone 5 Prototype? [Rumor]

Did Chinese Case Manufacturers Manage to Buy a Foxconn iPhone 5 Prototype? [Rumor]

Apple finally sent out invitations today for its next iPhone event, and everyone is wondering if we’ll see the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or both. Many are starting to feel that there will be only one iPhone unveiled this year, but that remains to be seen.

We have been seeing tons of purported iPhone 5 cases leaked from case manufacturers overseas. The reason? Apple hardware manufacturer Foxconn seems to have lost an iPhone 5 prototype.

M.I.C. Gadget reports its findings from a trip to Shenzhen, China last week:

“The missing prototype is said to have been enclosed in a case to disguise it as a current-generation iPhone 4–which brings to mind the iPhone 4 prototype acquired by Gizmodo that was camouflaged as an iPhone 3GS. How Apple achieved that with the iPhone 5 supposedly wider and longer than the current iPhone 4 is a point to ponder.

It is said to be a test model with a finalized iPhone 5 chassis featuring the tear-drop design. However, the interesting thing about it is that it apparently houses what we assume to be slightly modified iPhone 4 electronics with components such as the A4 chip and even the same amount of memory.”

Essentially, this report is saying that one lost prototype has fueled the dozens of iPhone 5 case designs that have been surfacing over the last few months. The person (assumedly from Foxconn) that sold the prototype was smart enough to wipe the phone and disable the GPS hardware. No Apple gestapo to intervine this time.

M.I.C. Gadget has more details:

“It was then allegedly sold to one of the iPhone case manufacturers for RMB ¥20,000 (about $3,100). We were told that Foxconn was aware of the loss and had penalized internal management for the incident. We also heard from another source that the person who “lost” it was paid to do so.”

Not all prototype devices reach the final production stages, so it’s a good possibility that this leaked prototype design has changed significantly since its leak to case makers. If this report is true, there are currently two iPhone 5 prototypes that no one has ever seen floating around in the wild.

At this point, we’re just content to see what Apple has for us next week.

  • John Zogas

    C’mon iPhone 5!!! Bless me with your presence so I can destroy this Droid X, Office Space-style

  • jacklahaie

    Well, I certainly hope M.I.C Gadget is correct! I’d much rather have the tear drop design than the current iPhone 4′s design. One thing I always liked about my 3GS was the way it feels in my hand. Sometimes the 4 feels a little too square.

  • S. Mulji

    There’s always the chance that the iPhone 5 will retain the iPhone 4 chassis, & the new tear-drop design will go to the lower-end iPhone 4S.

  • T A

    I highly doubt that Apple would make a new case design for a new second-tier phone and keep a 16-month-old design for the new, top-tier iPhone 5. 

  • knock knock

    is that the silent switch? looks like it’s on the wrong side? and shouldn’t the volume rocker opening be there too? sorry for all the questions…?

  • shahn

    What the F is up with the video ad poping up on this site while using my ipad??
    Is everyone experiencing this?

    I dont think this site is in any position to pull $hit like this, considering much of the info on here is rehashed from other sites (and vice versa).

  • henrymaxm

    The Disney Hawaii resort one? -.-

  • Guest

    This looks like it will be a thin piece of crap. They should and better keep the iphone 4 design, just fix the antenna issue. This thin crap look more and more like a ipod touch.

    Apple look like you are loosing it on the design end!

  • QandnotU

    That’s a lot of staunch opinions for a device that hasn’t been offically introduced by Apple.

  • Enough

    So why are you reading this site if you’ve read it all on other sites? Sometimes when people comment on here they just make themselves look like fools. If you don’t like it, move on. Simple. I for one don’t want to hear your ramblings.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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