On Friday a few websites reported that an unfamiliar Apple phone had been spotted on a train in San Francisco. The phone was spotted and someone sent a picture was sent to 9to5Mac. The tipster said that he got a good look of the phone but the pictures don’t do it justice. The sighting was said to be an Apple employee on his way home from work in San Francisco, which adds up with Apple’s base in San Francisco.

The phone is possibly an iPhone 5 prototype which has been given to an employee for testing. It’s similar to how the iPhone 4 was leaked when an Apple employee left his prototype in a bar in San Francisco. The tipster said he had seen the case that 9tp5Mac had posted earlier, the green one, and the phone looked like it’d fit into that case. Slightly confirming his suspicions that the the phone may well be a prototype.

The prototype looked thinner than the current iPhone 4 and a little bit wider. The back of the phone is curved and is thought to be glass, it could’ve been plastic but knowing Apple it would most likely be glass.

The user was said to be trying to hid the Apple logo but the tipster did get a good snap below.

With only a month to the probable iPhone 5 announcement it seems like things are starting to hotten up and all will be confirmed soon.

 

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Yet again, more speculation on the upcoming iPhone 5. It seems that a Taiwanese blog, Digitimes, has received reports from ‘unnamed sources’ that companies who are involved in the supply chain for the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 have started their search for materials to be used in the manufacturing process of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3.

Apple iPhone 5

They also announce that the two products are likely to be announced in September and then released in October. The announcement timing coincides with the annual Apple keynote in September, where the new iPods are announced.

Production is set for just the one iPhone unlike what Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank said. Whitmore said that Apple would release two iPhones, one for the higher end of the market and one for the lower end. This does now seem very unlikely with sources reporting that ‘Apple is only going to manufacture one iPhone’.

Manufacture of the iPhone 5 is due to start in August in small volumes and then increased volumes in September and October, ready for launch. Sources reported that Apple has estimated the supply volume of the iPhone 5 in the third quarter 2011 to be at 6-7 million units. Copled with the iPhone 4 the expected supply volume for the iPhone in the third quarter is expected to be 24-s5 million units. The same level is expected in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The total forecasted shipping figures for the iPhone in 2011 is over 85 million iPhones! With increased competition in the smartphone market will Apple be able to reach this figures or are they too ambitious? Who knows, it all depends on what the iPhone 5 is like and what the hardware is like. Of course the Apple logo will mean it will sell in its millions but will people be more attracted to smartphones with dual-core processors if the iPhone 5 doesn’t feature one?

Digitimes also reported that the Apple iPad is expected to ship over 40 millions units in 2011, with production for the iPad 3 also starting in August.The announcement of the iPad 3 is expected to be in September also.

So it looks like the conclusion to iPhone 5 speculation will be coming to a close in September, one question that still remains, what will the iPhone 5 look like?

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The boss of France Telecom, owners of Orange, Stephan Richard has hinted at Apple wanting to reduce the size of the iPhone 5. Apparently Apple want to make the iPhone 5 much thinner than previous devices, allowing the iPhone 5 to compete with the latest smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S.

Richard said that Orange was working with the electronics giant, Apple, on even smaller SIM cards than the micro SIM. Allowing for more space within the iPhone. Speaking to All Things Digital Richard said:

“We are going to work with [Apple] in order to standardize a new format of SIM which takes into account our needs with security and authentication and also is compatible with their wishes in terms of size.

“I understood that the next iPhone would be smaller and thinner and they are definitely seeking some space.”

It looks like space within the iPhone 5 comes at a premium. So much so that Apple wanted to get rid of a SIM card all together, using virtual identification instead. This is quite a u-turn considering Apple released the iPhone 4 with the micro SIM, a card with just the chip on. However Orange weren’t too comfortable with the idea, seeing it as a potential breach of customer privacy and security. The Orange boss said:

“Apple has been working for years on reducing the size of SIM cards because they need space in the phone. They even thought about a device without any SIM card, that is what is known as the e-SIM project.

“All of us told them it was a bad idea because the SIM card is a critical piece of the security and authentication process. It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship.

“I think that they understood this point. We had a very constructive exchange and dialogue with them.”

So it looks like Apple want the iPhone 5 to be the thinnest smartphone on the market and are currently struggling to do so. The on question everyone is asking though, when is the iPhone 5 release date?

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