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.


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