Well, it's that time again. As the next iPhone's launch day approaches – though still months away – tidbits of information begin to form a little puzzle. People start speculating about what the next generation iPhone will look like and what specifications it will have in tow when it hits the market. Sometimes the renders are pretty close. Other times, not so much.

This same ritual led to a wild ride last year. Several different renders and images of what people believed to be the iPhone 4 would look like began popping up all over the place. It all started as harmless fun and a creative outlet for us technology fiends.

People kept digging and an Apple employee got drunk and left his pre-production iPhone 4 – disguised as a 3GS – in a bar. Someone else at the bar found it and, like a good Samaritan, tried to return it. At the time, Apple knew nothing about the leak and brushed the guy off. Gizmodo paid top dollar for the device, only for Jason Chen's house to get raided by police with warrant in hand. Eventually, the warrant for the iPhone was withdrawn and the situation was dealt with on both sides.

This year, things are starting to go down the same path, though I doubt it will be as action-packed as last year. I'm sure Apple has tightened the reins this year and will not have another leak like that. We all know who won't be getting the iPhone 5 to carry about (snicker).

Some of us have already seen some renders of the 4-inch iPhone 5. The one pictured above comes from the faithful leader of the Boy Genius Report, Jonathan Geller. In all honesty, it's a pretty good guess at what the device might look like: a reduced bezel so the actual device size increase is minimal, and a wider display rather than tall and skinny. It looks rather HTC-esque though, doesn't it?

After seeing a few different renders already, I'm forced to ask: will the next iPhone's design completely change? The guys over at Macotakara seem to believe it will, and sources are telling Economic Daily News that the next iPhone will sport an aluminum back (not unlike that of the iPod Touch) and that the antenna will be redesigned and hidden in the Apple logo.

We all know Apple fueled a lot of resources into the antenna design on the iPhone 4. The outcome wasn't exactly what they – or we for that matter – expected. They even tried reworking the design on the CDMA iPhone to no avail. Though not nearly as prevalent, there is still a death grip issue. I can believe that Apple would be overhauling the antenna design after two failed attempts, and it would certainly coincide with part of the delay in release that we've heard rumors of.

You may also recall that Apple was applying for a patent at the end of last year that fits perfectly with the rumor. So using the Apple logo as the antenna isn't out of the question either. However, there is also a chance that they will, once again, rehash the current design. Like I said, the "death grip" issue with the Verizon iPhone has not affected nearly as many people. The problem area has been moved to the top of the device, where most people who use the phone won't have any issues.

As for the aluminum backing, I can see that change coming, too. Having two slabs of glass wasn't Apple's brightest idea. One drop and the device could be done for good. Shattered. Even taking the precautionary step of shielding your device in a case could result in cracking. Replacing glass with the aircraft aluminum they love to use definitely makes sense.

The larger display is a rumor I'm still not sold on. It would undoubtedly be a good move for Apple. But the only support we have for those rumors is pure speculation and Digitimes' "upstream component suppliers." A larger display could sideline the Retina display for a while, and I don't see that happening. Plus, they seem to be about making devices smaller as of late, not bigger.

Let's not forget that we've also heard talk of a hardware keyboard and a cheaper iPhone, too. Neither of these things sound too much like something Apple would do. So to be on the safe side, I would keep a couple tablespoons of salt on hand for all of the renders and iPhone rumors ahead. There are bound to be plenty and here's to hoping for another crazy year of Apple rumors and leaks.

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98 Reactions to this post

"Do you expect the design of the iPhone 5 to change?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Muhammad Aamir Sayeed yes 101% change is wanted...
Cj Martin I believe a change in the antenna placement is needed, and a improvement in reception w/noise cancellation. In previous Iphones it was network problems for drop calls, but this version it is the phone that's the problem.
Sachin Swami no apples to concervative
Dushyanthan Devadoss The iPod Touch and the iPad have the same design and it works... why not the iPhone too... Unibody Aluminium is what I want to see on the iPhone 5 www.djsmobiles.com
Michael Kornick i would like it to change
Fonzy Paniagua Ive been with android since it first came out with the g1 and i gotta say best os ever. but give me a 4.3 or 4.0 inch retna display ,dual core, and 8 Mega pixel camera then "MAYBE" i'll lean towards apple.
Shirley Mercado I hope not. I like their new design in the iPhone 4. They just need to do something about the signal problem AND.... they should add an SD slot at the side! =D
Nic Gruwell android fags are soo annoying
Albertano Laguna I think the new design will be cucumber shaped so iPhone users can "carry" their iPhones everywhere even naked=D
Albertano Laguna Who cares? iPhone is sooo 2010.
Noel Lv it doesn't matter if they change the appearance or not ..what apple needs to do is change everything in the iphone ..and start over again ..beCause everything iPhone does android does it 10times better ..I don't have to sit here and tell you everything android phones do that iPhone is no where near ..just go to YouTube and put iPhone4 vs evo4g ..and see who wins.. galaxy tab vs iPad ..see who wins ..Motorola xoom vs ipad ..android comes out the winner every time because it just blows Apple out of the water with innovation ..all iPhone has is a better screen ..that is all ..all you Apple lover are just blind .and don't wanna face it that android is better
Zac Hooper lol @ Mazin.
Chandler Lewis better multi-taskig
Steve Doric Needs a bigger screen to keep me buying the next one
Naj Khan Yeah bigger screen loud speakers and i am sure its goonnaa be the best phone ever goto bee right
Byktor Urvaes I don't think they are going to change the design to much, but will be nice if they put a bigger screen..
Benjamin Padilla I doubt that Apple will change the design much. They will only change it a little to meet the market's wants and any flaws with the antenna. What I think they do need to change though, is their UI. The UI is so bland it makes me want to vomit. Where Apple accels though, is software optimization. If Android had Apple's software then the marketshare for Android would be even more dramatic than it already is. Android's UI is awesome, Apple's software is probably the best...unfortunately because I hate Apple.
Harrison Hughes Yes. Gonna be super thin with a dual core processor and new interface
Tony Ward @Justin , how is android trying to catch up with Apple, what a dumb stupid Apple fanboy, android is a operating system not a phone lol. The tech on a lot of devices that run android are far more advanced than anything Apple could ever dream up (or pinch the idea of), what runs the new terra 3 chips hmmm? Apple fanboys talk such a load of rubbish lol.
Roger Rodriguez Hopefully the screen size to at least 4 inches!
David Piepho New Sony 8mp camera and new attenna will be the Apple symble on the back of the phone logger than that pretty much still the i-phone 4.
Anthony Alecseenko YES because of the epic fail with iPhone 4's antenna.
Frankie Paz Fix the notifications!!! Only thing I don't like about the iPhone...and a bigger battery!
Jake Hartman put gorrilla glass
Tony Ward From a brick to a brick, it will still be the boring same shape with the same boring icons, oh wait I think the Apple logo will be bigger on the back lol.
Rex Tippin JR Ummm of course it will change
Amanda Rivera Apple is boring!!!!!
Justin Peahi iOS FTW, Apple will always been the trend setter and Android will always be playing catch up.... Eat that Droid losers!
Louis Hickson Jr. Not really. The only thing that i think will change is the thickness. Right now, the iPad 2 is thinner than the iPhone 4! Lol
Jonathon Whipple I would never buy an apple product. Have fun with your garbage phone.
Carlos Roldan Yes. The iphone 4. Is boring.
David Hore Hopefully a 4.3 inch screen
Issa Hirsi Even if they put a 4.3in screen on it Android would still top it. iOs eats balls.
Nick Burns Next one should be dual core with an aluminum back and faster ram.
Joseph Alan Richardson Hmm maybe this one will actually work this time?
Dat Boy Named Dannee I hope it does have a 4 inch screen
Paul Sikorski There isn't going to be a 5 this summer. It'll be the iPhone 4g or 4gs and look exactly the same single core and all they'll add is at&t hspa+ ....iPhone 5 is next year.
Sairus Soliman A Qwerty Keyboard would be really a great idea ..!!
Nathaniel Hull It doesnt matter, people will think its better when it still wont be as capable as other phones out now
Marti Ruiz i dont care
Chuck Xu Prob not. Minor tweaks, like not putting an outside antenna (fail). And same old small screen (3.5 in) lol...lameness The Ifail4, 4.5, 5, 6, and so on will always be the poor mans android fone!!!! Go team htc/team android
Ai Nguyen go away android fangirls. apple is going to take over the smart phone market once again. apple rules.
Brandon Worley Same old same old...so exciting
Mazin Nasir WTF is wrong with you android fanboys?!?!? Stay out of I if you don't like iPhone. And Luis WTF iPhone should have android!?!? There's something wrong with you and no I don't think that the physical shape is going to change.
Zac Hooper They definitely need to do something about the antennae, but why not just go with android? So much better.
Tim Miyashiro Make it aluminium, like the original. That always looked great and still does. And a bigger display and the A5 wouldn't hurt either.
Aj Green Bigger screen and a nice physical QWERTY board.
Matt Polkiewicz Maybe they'll round off the edges to make it even thinner. Although having glass on the back is really nice since it doesn't scratch easily
Eric Alvarez Bigger screen. More aluminum and carbon fiber.
Haiel Haifa No, maybe 4g and dual core
Joshua Castro Dam!!! this changes everything.......AGAIN!!!!!!! Jajajajaj....
Fan OfDreaming I expect a bigger display But other then that, no real change
Roy Portillo I dont think it will. Although there are some rumors out that apple has three concepts right now. One with no home button and a larger screen, the other with a slide up Qwerty Keyboard and the other one I forgot. I dont think it'll change. I think it'll be like the 3G and 3GS. Just Hardware upgrades...
Edgar Rodriguez 33% thinner with dual core
David Hilgendorf Nope it will suck just like the other 4
Philip Raghunath @ Samuel Bisson: the iPhone 4 was the slimmest iPhone Apple made, and Apple has slimmed down the size of the iPad, iPod Touch, nad the iPhone. I doubt they're gonna put something that will make it bulkier anytime soon.
Daniel Shervheim it needs NFC and a better camera. i mean 5 meg come on is this a toy phone??
Samuel Bisson Put a fucking QWERTY KEYBOARD, a real one !!
Philip Raghunath Some pictures have shown a bigger iPhone screen (about 4inches), so maybe a bigger screen, dual core A5 chip, and same retina display.
Manny LaughsAlot Make it a 4.3 inch screen and we might b in. Business other than that apple has been way over rated sincw it started to come out with laptops...
Mark Gittens Who cares not buying one any way. DROID RULEZ!
Dennis Tirado Yes, but I think the next iPhone coming out will be a like a 3GS
Shawn Carter Lol @ Jose
Rafael Ache Could be #6 for all I care. At 3600 quadrant score my nexus s is only getting replaced by dual core wp7
Anh-Tuan Le Will it be 33% thinner than the iPad, thus providing a TOTALLY different experience? And maybe it'll be the first 4G phone to ship in masses. Will it be in white from the start? (Cause I know that that's terribly important to macheads worldwide)
Steve Tamas How about speech to text and a slide out physical keyboard, I mean it should have the keyboard in the first place some people don't have little girly hands. Posted from my blackberrry :p
Auggie Mueller Yes, but only to fix the antenna issues or to fix the occasional screen cracking from dropping
Steven B Arellano I think a stylish product like the iPhone takes more than a year to revise. I think we will see some minor technical upgrades like we did between the 3G and 3GS but no I don't expect to see anything mind blowing. Probably a camera upgrade the A5 chip would be nice but not likely.
Brian Cuevas They better.
Jeff Lansberry Maybe, but we won't know for sure until it's in Steve's hands at the presentation in the Summer. You just never really can tell with Apple.
Michael Rich I only got an iPhone 4 but I saw this coming anyway so no big deal. No real case changes but what's inside could change. An A5 chip like the iPad2 has for example
Jon Martin Lol at all the Apple haters. Why would Apple put Andriod on the iPhone? It's buggy and crap! iOs ftw :)
Jose Be Julme HTC, Samsung, Motorola banded Android OS FTW.
Brett Sherman They need too, I hate when Apple makes a new product and u can't tell the difference between the new one and the old one. At least bring some new colors.
Stephen M. Knipe II Have they ever changed the design? My guess is no significant change, just like previous releases
Enrique BigPapi Martinez Adroid rules all
Darryl Mouzone It might have a metal back or something but I think it's pretty much going to look the same. It's not a bad looking phone so why change it?
Nic Gruwell A slide out keyboard would be tight but that will never happen... I'm thinking that they will change the back to something more durable and maybe a front facing camera upgrade to 2 MP and probably in a thinner form factor
Raja IvIuneeb we can just hope, no expectations B-)
Wolfe Pack Who really cares. Android RULES!!!
Jose F. Barbosa maybe they'll make one that can make calls..
Daphne Lyketsos I don't think they will but I wish they would. The 3gs is better looking than the 4... the 4 is like a brick
Nakul Nayyar maybe dependz on dem but there should be a 5 mp or more cam wid led or xenon flash n a good front cam n a qwerty keyboard or not
Luca Staš Kuhar Agree with Luis :)
Ollie Belcher III It's Apple, no.
Marcus NinersEmpire If it comes to Sprint it should have a 5 row slide out keyboard screen should b a lil bigger wat it is now. Da bck cam 8. And da front cam 2. Mayb have a blk crome color or red. And u should b able to video chat wit who ever fck dat facetime.
Modest Zak I just want a keyboard :D
Luis Reich They should change the design and it should come with Android...

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