Purported new iPhone, smaller iPad engineering samples photographedAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
It feels like it's been a while since there have been any new iPhone leaks, doesn't it? That changes today, as purported engineering samples of both the new iPhone and the rumored smaller iPad have surfaced. The folks at GottaBeMobile claim that the images came to them from "a trusted source inside Apple's supply chain." The first two shots show a metal block in the shape of the what may be the next iPhone. The front and the sides of the mold look like a taller version of the iPhone 4S, featuring similar antenna breaks, volume buttons and a ringer switch. The rear shows a design that lines up with previous leaks, with two small panels on the top and bottom of the device and a larger middle panel. This sample is said to be 58.6mm wide and 120mm tall, which is shorter than the iPhone 4S's height of 115.2mm.
Along with this new iPhone sample, there are images that purportedly show the design of the oft-rumored iPad Mini. The item in the photos below is a plastic mold meant for testing accessories. The bottom of the alleged smaller iPad sample shows the shrunken dock connector that's been rumored for the new iPhone, as well as speaker holes on either side of the dock connector cutout. In an attempt to figure out the size of the mold, GottaBeMobile counted the photo's pixels and came up with measurements of 213.36mm tall and 143.67mm wide. That would make the device about two-thirds the size of the new iPad, which measures in at 241.3mm tall and 185.67mm wide. The iPad Mini is also said to be thinner than the new iPad.
While these samples are unofficial, they appear to line up with previous rumors concerning these devices. The iPhone block is similar to the back panels that leaked in May, although the images don't show if the bottom features a headphone jack and smaller dock connector. There hasn't been a ton of rumors on the design of the iPad Mini, but the shape of this mold does seem like it could belong to a tablet with a seven to eight inch screen. Of course, the emergence of several cases with tapered rears last year suggested that 2011 might bring a redesigned iPhone, but instead Apple gave us the iPhone 4S. So while these samples may be the real deal, we won't know for sure what the new iPhone and smaller iPad look like until Tim Cook and Co. introduce them on stage. Would you like the new iPhone and smaller iPad to look like they do in these samples?