Hope you're ready for a new round of iPhone rumors, folks, because that's what we've got for you today. According to a source speaking with BGR, Apple is prepping a "completely redesigned" iPhone for launch in the fall of 2012, around the same time as the arrival of the iPhone 4S this year. The tipster claims that this new iPhone will feature an aluminum back that'll be connected to the front of the device with a rubbery bezel made of a material similar to what the iPhone 4/4S bumper cases are constructed out of. This bezel will allegedly serve two purposes: to connect the front and the rear of the phone and to cover a new antenna system that'll run around the perimeter of the device so that Apple won't need to include a large plastic antenna on top of the handset like it uses on its 3G iPads.
This isn't the first time that we've heard rumors that an aluminum-backed iPhone is in the pipeline, as reports of the device's existence cropped up several times earlier this year with claims that Apple would launch such a product in 2011. Obviously that didn't happen, and we got the iPhone 4-like 4S back in October. Now that Apple has used the same design two years in a row, though, I think many people expect a significant hardware revision in 2012, just like we got with the iPhone 4 after two years with the curved plastic design of the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The fall 2012 release window for the new iPhone could also make sense. Apple now has new iPads to launch in the spring, so rather than follow that with a new iPhone in the summer like it has in years past and leave the fall without a major product unveiling, the Cupertino firm would likely rather space out its iDevice launches and wait until the leaves change colors to release a new handset. Whether or not this new handset will feature a design like the one described by BGR is a mystery for now, but I'm sure there won't be a shortage of rumors on the subject between now and next fall.