Business Insider claims to have information on an iPhone 5 prototype from a source that “spent about two weeks” with the device. Citing several details about the alleged prototype, the source says that Apple ended up ditching the iPhone 5 at the last minute. Instead, the iPhone 4S was released as an incremental update to the product line.
While even Business Insider notes that its source has not been completely verified, the provided details do stack up nicely with the rumors we were all hearing leading up the iPhone 4S announcement.
Well, it turns out the “iPhone 5″ – or at least, a fully redesigned iPhone – was real and it was scrapped only months before the iPhone 4S was announced.
We’ve been told this by an industry source who has been right about future Apple products in the past.
Apparently, Apple was actually working on the revolutionary iPhone prototype that several mainstream outlets were suggesting existed prior to the 4S. The iPhone 5 prototype in question allegedly had a 4-inch diagonal screen, aluminum back, touch-based home button, tapered design, incredible performance, and a 10 megapixel camera.
Siri was supposedly called “Assistant,” which lines up perfectly with another report that pegged the same name for Apple’s new voice technology. According to the unnamed source, the prototype also featured “a nicer screen with better colors,” but the device had a “messed up” color profile while in testing.
Our source said that Apple engineers he knows thought until about three months before the iPhone 4S was released, that a new fully re-designed iPhone was going to be Apple’s next big announcement.
Why did Apple can the iPhone 5 leading up to the announcement? Steve Jobs didn’t like the screen size.
He says the rumor among Apple employees is that Steve Jobs was unhappy with the bigger screen because it “fragmented” iPhones, Apple’s big argument against Android is the way all the different phones from different manufactureres fragment that operating system.
All of the specs mentioned by the source have been rumored before, so it’s not a stretch to assume that Apple has at least been working on an iPhone with some of these features. Some have called the iPhone 4S a rushed product, and it’s definitely odd that Apple would wait nearly two years to release an iPhone that’s barely different from the iPhone 4.
In all of this speculation, it’s important to remember that Apple is a company that plans its products years in advance. Was the iPhone 4S always the backup plan while Apple was testing the iPhone 5? Is a radical device like the purposed iPhone 5 prototype still coming? Who knows.