iPhone 5 to have metal back, less than 4-inch display?

iPhone 5 to have metal back, less than 4-inch display?

Randomly accurate Digitimes and their "upstream sources" are back again with some more rumors on iPhone 5, including changes to both the size of the display and the material used for the back plate:

In addition, iPhone 5's back design will be changed to a metal chassis instead of reinforced-glasses.

The sources added that the iPhone 5 will adopt a 3.5- to 3.7-inch panel with a design to allow the bezel of the panel to become thinner and make the screen look larger.

If you're thinking rumors about iPhone 5 have been all over the place, and wildly contradictory this year, you're not alone. It could be that Apple, as it reportedly has done in the past, had a more ambitious and a more conservative iPhone 5 prototype and elements of both have leaked. It could also be that Apple's rumored 2nd iPhone, the lower-budget iPhone nano is leading to some confusion about which rumors pertain to which devices. Lastly, iPhone 4, which historically should drop in price but stay on the market after iPhone 5 gets introduced, could also get some tweaks -- become an iPhone 4S -- to make it less expensive to produce or even upgrade its processor to a newer A5 so Apple doesn't have to keep two chipsets in production.

We'll only know for certain this October.

[Digitimes, mockup via MacRumors]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 5 to have metal back, less than 4-inch display?


Not surprising in the slightest. Apple would do well to unify their product line and look, and bringing it in line with the iPad and iPod Touch would do so. I just hope they do decide to go with a bigger screen. 4" would be fantastic, but even 3.7" would do well.

To be honest I think when you get to a 4" screen it just becomes too large. Phones stop fitting in lots of pockets, it becomes harder to hold, it's just not something I like. I'd much rather it stay the same, or very slightly larger, size with the 'padding' becoming smaller.

I went from a 4.3" Evo to a 4" Nexus S, and while I'd prefer an even smaller size, 4 inches still pretty pocketable. That said, I'm still switching to the iPhone 5 if Sprint gets it and it's at or under 4 inches.

4" would probably be just about OK for me, but for me anything above that becomes a bit too big. That's just me though.

i use to think 3.5 inch was perfect and then i got a galaxy s2 which is 4.3 inch and i was worried it was gonna be too big but because of the small bezel and slimness and the lightness of the s2 it is just as pocketable as my ip4..i will say that the s2 is not as easy as the ip4 to operate with one hand but as far as portability the s2 and ip4 is the same for me..as i said i think this is due to the slimness etc so i dont think all 4.3 inch phones will be the same..personally i think 4 inch would be the perfect size..hopefully samsung make a phone of the s2 but built in a 4inch frame.

I don't know anybody with a 4" + phone in the UK, or can I think of any at all apart from the EVO which isn't sold here. If they make a 4" phone I'll probably move away from the iPhone, it's just too inconvenient. It's just really not that popular.
Also Steve isn't in charge any more, it's Tim Cook

Umm... I think you are about 2 weeks late if you're talking about rioting...
Also it was about 2,000 people max, London alone has probably around 8 million. It's like saying all Muslims are terrorists because a very, very, very small minority are. It's just not true.

Expect Jobs is gone. Granted its what tim cook rants with the iPhone 6 but people want large screen phones. Its what is mostly selling.

it is a preference thing i suppose. i went from the Palm Pre to an EVO 3D and i will agree that the phone can seem a bit too big sometimes. however the EVO is kinda fat, the iphone would be thinner for sure. i really do like having a screen this size though. 4 inches is the smallest i would go from now on. it makes my ipod touch screen seem too tiny that is for sure... so i guess my point is that 4 inches isn't too big at all. have you ever held a Nexus S? that phone feels great in the hand. the next iphone screen would be perfect at like 4.1

They don't seel the Nexus S in the UK, or at least I haven't seen one :) I guess it is a preference thing, and while I'd be fine with it being a bit bigger, I really wouldn't like it to be too big.

Once you have a 4" screen for a while (or even 4.3") and then you go back to 3.5 or 3.7, you quickly realize how much better a larger (within reason) screen is. It's like when TVs first came out with 50" screens, people thought that was too big, but fast forward 5 years and that's somewhat normal. As long as the area around the screen stays small, bigger is better.

Yeah, I like the size of my iPhone at the moment but if they could make the bezel smaller, and make the actual screen larger than that would be much better

I'm talking about my school trousers, and some cargo trousers. I never wear skinny jeans. You'd be surprised how many trousers really are crap.

I'm trying to figure out what they will be selling in iPhone 5 if the screen size does not change. Higher MP phone? Meh. Slimmer? Meh. There are no rumors out about a new chip (that I have heard). A6 is not until 2012. All the magic seems to be in the software which will run on the 4 hardware. Looking for a reason to buy and having a hard time finding one.

People want large screens. Unless you are a girl or a guy who wears skinny jeans (homo perahaps?0 large screens are where its at. Other wise why would they be such a hot seller?

Your immature comments and ignorant attitude is soooo lame, man. Take a walk in the afghan mountains.

People complaining about 4 inches being too big!? Give me a break, get over the small iphone design that has been going for the past four years or whatever. I have never see so many people complain about a small increment in size. It isn't even the 4.3 that you see on most androids now, its 4 inches....
I promise if they make an iphone with at least a 4 inch screen everyone will praise it and love it more. And the non believers will still buy it no matter how much they just can't stand that "over-sized" screen.

I'm so glad I switched to WP7. Sorry iTards, but WP7 blows iOS away, and I have my choice of hardware, and not simply want Jobs thinks I should have. 4in + screens are the standard now. If Apple choses not to go that route, they will only hurt themselves. Guess it's good they have so much iHype to keep them going.