Earlier today, Chinese site C Technology posted a pair of photos of what was claimed to be an internal frame for Apple’s next-generation iPhone, a device said to be carrying a display measuring at least 4.7 inches, significantly larger than the current 4-inch standard for Apple’s most recent iPhones. The photos were picked up by GizChina.com and have since made their way to increasingly prominent sites expressing varying degrees of skepticism about their authenticity.
While we had initially decided to refrain from posting the images due to their extremely dubious nature, their increasing visibility today bears addressing. For a number of reasons, including several outlined here, we believe that the part shown in these images is not legitimate.
– The part appears to be a midframe such as that found in earlier iPhone models, allowing components to be attached to both sides of the part before being enclosed in the device’s shell. Apple did away with midframe components as of the iPhone 5, opting for a unibody rear shell design that allows components to be mounted directly to the shell, yielding a thinner design. A return to a design requiring a midframe part would seem unlikely given Apple’s emphasis on thinness.
– The frame seems to show accommodation for a headphone jack at the same end of the device where a circular feature presumably corresponding to the device’s rear camera is positioned, undoubtedly the top end. With the shift to the narrower Lightning connector in the iPhone 5, Apple shifted the location of the iPhone’s headphone jack to the bottom edge of the device, matching the position seen on the iPod touch since its launch and allowing the headphone cable to naturally fall so as to not interfere with viewing of the device’s screen. Moving the headphone jack back to the top edge of the device for the iPhone 6 appears unlikely, though not impossible.
In the face of those apparent inconsistencies with Apple’s design direction, there is essentially no evidence in favor of this part being from an iPhone, leaving only the original poster’s claim as support. The part is rather unremarkable with what appears to be fairly poor finish quality, meaning that it could be from one of any number of devices in the Asian supply chain.