The torrent of iPhone 5 rumors continues today. Last week we brought you a series of reports that appeared to confirm that the next iPhone will have a 4-inch display. Yesterday came a report that the new iPhone will be getting a metal back like the one on the new iPad.
Today the size-related rumors are back, but this time with a new wrinkle. According to a report today from 9to5Mac, Apple actually has several varieties of new iPhone in testing, and hasn’t actually decided which to release yet. It seems there are currently at least two models undergoing internal testing, the iPhone 5,1 and the iPhone 5,2. The details of the two models are unknown, but in at least one respect, they are identical. Both sport a display that is 3.95 inches (not 4!) on the diagonal. Interestingly, both displays are the same width as the display on the current iPhone. The increased height comes with an extra 176 pixels, as well: while the iPhone 4S is 640×960, the new iPhone will be 630×1136.
The new additional pixels in the vertical dimension will allow the new iPhone to keep – and even improve – its retina display while also bringing the aspect ratio much closer to 16:9. That means that when you watch widescreen videos on the new iPhone, they’ll be able to play in their native resolution much more comfortably on the screen.
What’s more, it seems that iOS 6 will be getting some enhancements specifically designed to deal with the new resolution. The most notable feature will be a fifth row of home screen icons, as well as extra features in app user interfaces.
The source also gave a few details about the new iPhone’s other features, including the fact that it will be getting the oft-rumored smaller dock connector. Also, in a move that should surprise no one, Apple will be keeping the physical home button.
This information, assuming it’s accurate, also provides a clue as to the new iPhone’s release. That is to say, if anyone had any lingering hopes that Apple might unveil the new iPhone at WWDC and release the device in June or July, this report should put them to rest. If Apple is still testing the new iPhone and iOS 6 in late May, it’s extremely unlikely that they could be ready for a summer release, which means that the next iPhone really will be coming in the fall – probably October, though possibly September.
Meanwhile, if you’re curious about the yesterday’s report that the new iPhone will resemble the iPad, then you’re in luck. At the end of March artist Antonio De Rosa posted a gallery of concept photos showing what the new iPhone might look like. You can see one such image above. Here are a few more for your viewing pleasure. You can check out the whole gallery at De Rosa’s ADR Studios.