This Magnificent Physical Mockup Of The iPhone 5 Is Made With Real Aluminum And Glass [Gallery]

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Right now, it’s looking unlikely that the next iPhone will be a true new design, a real iPhone 5. Instead, it looks almost certain that Apple will announced the iPhone 4S on Tuesday instead… an upgraded device that looks almost identical to the iPhone 4.

That said, the sheer volume of reports that say that Apple has been working on a thinner, teardrop shaped iPhone with a bigger screen are hard to ignore, and many industry folks’ best guess is that that device will come in 2012. And here’s what it will look like.

The guys over at Benm.at created a mockup of the teardrop iPhone, and have a fantastic gallery of the results. Here’s how they did it.

Based on CAD designs, hardware components, several leaked hints, cases and recent, believable mockups we created a three-dimensional computer model. This virtual model was then used to build a very detailed, true prototype that you can hold in your own two hands.

The process to create this prototype is the same that’s used to create the iPad. The back was machined from a sold block of aluminium, which was later treated with glass pearls to get the same slightly rough touch that we already know from the iPad…

Even though our prototype is a bit wider than the iPhone 4 (59.94 mm vs 58.6 mm) the design, in combination with the larger 4 inch touchscreen makes it more compact and easier to handle.

Thanks to the rounded design it also feels much nicer while holding it in your hand. Compared with an iPhone 5, the old phone even looks and feels a little chunky.

These guys really did some fantastic work.

Check out their full post for more. I’d go ape if Apple showed off this phone on Thursday. What do you think?