Reported to hit retail shelves in September 2011, the iPhone 5 has its own galaxy of rumor sites, speculation and oft-times silliness. Persistently, however, the new version of the handheld was to be an incremental incarnation -- an evolutionary bump as opposed to a spike.
Josh Topolsky at thisismynext.com writes that he's hearing an entirely different story: expect a radically redesigned handset. (The image seen here is a mockup, not a real device, so please ... no wagering.)
Sources tell Topolsky one of the models being tested is "more like an iPod Touch than the iPhone 4." It's said to be thinner, with a teardrop taper to it -- much like the Macbook Air design.
Some other (alleged) highlights:
* the home button pulls double duty as a gesture area (a source of its own rumor mill in the new iOS)
* the screen will be nearly the entire front of the phone, almost eliminating the bezel
* the earpiece and sensor may be behind the glass, allowing for edge-to-edge display
* touch-charging (cable-free) remains elusive and unconfirmed
Finally, Topolsky has a telling quote from Verizon CFO Fran Shammo that tells even more about the possible intent behind the iPhone 5 being another game-changer:
“The fluctuation, I believe, will come when a new device from Apple is launched, whenever that may be, and that we will be, on the first time, on equal footing with our competitors on a new phone hitting the market, which will also be a global device.”
(While we're at the rumor trough, HuffPo says gaming on the 5's new processor will be off the chain, too.)
Standby for more updates (read rumors and leaks) throughout the summer.