Rumored iPhone 5 spotted in the wild?

Jul 29, 2011
Tech

The rumor mill went crazy today after some images of what a tipster thought was the iPhone 5 being used in the wild made their way to 9to5Mac. The images, captured on a train from San Francisco earlier this week, show a man using a smartphone that seems to match the description gleaned from rumors […]

The rumor mill went crazy today after some images of what a tipster thought was the iPhone 5 being used in the wild made their way to 9to5Mac.

The images, captured on a train from San Francisco earlier this week, show a man using a smartphone that seems to match the description gleaned from rumors and anonymous sources of Apple’s (AAPL) upcoming iPhone update, known colloquially as the iPhone 5. 9to5Mac published the photos along with the tipster’s words, which were that he’d seen the phone up close and believed it to be an iPhone 5, although the pictures “didn’t do it justice.”

Unfortunately, the images aren’t very clear, but the tipster said that a story about silicone cases for the iPhone 5 made him believe that what he had seen was, in fact, the iPhone 5. After seeing photos of the cases at 9to5Mac, the tipster said he recognized what he’d seen as the iPhone 5, being an iPhone 4 owner, and said the cases would fit the device he saw perfectly.

For its part, 9to5Mac said it vetted the tipster, checking his background after receiving the information, and that he checked out. The tipster said the iPhone 5 had a screen akin to the HTC EVO, making it larger than the current iPhone screen, and that the device was both thinner and wider than the current crop of iPhones. The device had what was likely to be a curved, tapered glass back panel and curved metal edges that could function as an antenna.

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The photos seem to display what could be an Apple logo, which the man in the photo apparently worked hard to conceal the majority of the time. The tipster and 9to5Mac seem to think the device in the photo is too thin to be an iPhone 3GS, too curved to be an iPhone 4 and precluded from being an iPod touch by its coloring.

It’s possible that real-world testing of the iPhone 5 really is taking place in the photo, but the quality of the photos makes it hard to be sure. Apple surely wants to avoid another issue like the “antennagate” fiasco that occurred when the iPhone 4 came out, so testing in such a manner as this makes sense. Whether you believe the photos really do show an iPhone 5 is up to you, but at the very least, these photos offer a bit of compelling Apple fodder to think about going into the weekend.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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