Slim iPhone 5 Form Factor, Metal Back & Funky New 3D Display

A flurry of new rumors are suggesting the iPhone 5 will feature Apple’s favorite form factor innovation: thinness. But we’ve also picked up on some further suggestions of a metal back, as well as a funky, new display and touch-pad rumor.

If form factor is what matters most to you for the iPhone 5, then a bunch of new articles today will give you something to chew on. No, nothing more to say that the alleged “teardrop” body design — today, it’s about about a thinner iPhone 5 form factor.

We’ve heard this before, but let’s at least stay up to date on the freshest rumors:

First, to good ole’ BGR. Recycling a new Morgan Stanley report, they had this to say: “Mirroring a small piece of countless reports, Huberty says Apple’s next-generation “iPhone 5″ will feature a new slimmer case.” Bloomberg did their part as well, saying, “Apple Inc. may use new touch-panel technology for an iPhone 5 with a thinner body than previous models and might introduce the product in the quarter ending in June.”

The Bloomberg piece is infinitely more interesting, since it gives more details on the possible make-up of the iPhone 5′s form factor. The articles goes on to say that Apple is, “also considering new casing materials for the iPhone, its best- selling product, according to Huberty, who has an “overweight” rating on Apple.” When I read this, I think of our recent discussion about the iPhone 5 getting a metal back, either in the form of aluminum or LiquidMetal. To be sure, these two rumors work well together.

The “new touch-panel technology” bit is also something exciting, and it aligned with something else that I stumbled across today: a report from Apple Insider about a 3D touch panel patent filed in the Summer of 2010: “Apple could remove the need to touch the screen entirely by using orientation data from onboard sensors to determine a “perspective projection of the 3D display environment.” Examples of this kind of interaction can be seen with augmented reality applications, or using the gyroscope to view a location with Google Street View in the iOS Maps application. But Apple’s concept would take the idea much further, potentially offering users the ability to navigate the device using motion. In one illustration, the iPhone is shown with a home screen featuring a floor, back wall, ceiling and side walls.”

Obviously, if this patent were to come true on the iPhone 5, it would transcend the mere wish for a “new form factor.” This feature would completely revamp the notion of gesture control and mobile computing. Also, it seems like a new take on 3D technology that would manage to interest even people (like myself) who are not all that into 3D stuff, and still question how much of 3D viewing is good for the human brain. I might be willing to forget all of my health concerns if I had a 3D gesture environment to work with.

By Michael Nace


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