Chinese accessory manufacturers have been pumping out iPhone 5 cases all summer despite the fact the device isn’t scheduled to be announced for another week. Ebay, OEM suppliers, and a number of other online retailers/suppliers have even been selling “iPhone 5” cases for months.
It is possible China is making an educated guess on what the next iPhone will look like and in turn making money by suckering enough people into making orders. But, that doesn’t explain why every single early iPhone 5 case shares the same “teardrop” design. Is it possible that Chinese manufacturers know something we don’t? M.I.C gadget heard from a small iPhone accessory shop in Shenzhen that they do.
M.I.C is reporting a iPhone 5 prototype—rumored to have been lost by a Foxconn worker earlier this year—is the source of the teardrop case form factor seen online over the last few months.
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The missing prototype is said to have been enclosed in a case to disguise it as a current-generation iPhone 4–which brings to mind the iPhone 4 prototype acquired by Gizmodo that was camouflaged as an iPhone 3GS. How Apple achieved that with the iPhone 5 supposedly wider and longer than the current iPhone 4 is a point to ponder.
It is said to be a test model with a finalized iPhone 5 chassis featuring the tear-drop design. However, the interesting thing about it is that it apparently houses what we assume to be slightly modified iPhone 4 electronics with components such as the A4 chip and even the same amount of memory.
While the account is more than questionable, the details do mimic many of the details surrounding the iPhone 4 prototype that was lost in a bar before its release including the device being housed in a faux iPhone 4 case. The iPhone 5 prototype was reportedly sold for $3,100 to a case manufacturer and if one manufacturer gets it, it’s only a matter of time before they all have their hands on a case to mimic and produce.
However, the device that was sold, and used as the model for the cases could potentially be a non-final prototype Apple decided to shelve. It wouldn’t be the first time an Apple prototype leaked and turned out to be nothing but hot air for the Internet to digest. All other leaks involving iPhone 5/4S parts point to a new phone that closely resembles the iPhone 4. Chinese manufacturers could very well have been duped by a non-production prototype iPhone and as a result are sitting on loads of useless cases.
Chinese manufacturers will know soon if what they produced can fit on a new iPhone or used as a coaster.
This article originally appeared on ModMyi and has been republished with permission.
Tags: iPhone 5
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