Taiwanese Mac blog Apple.pro published a photo earlier today of what is claimed to be a dock connector for the upcoming iPhone 5, along with details that suggest the fifth-generation device could also be available with a slide-out keyboard. Contrary to earlier belief that Apple could soon be moving away from its current dock connector, this new part features the same 30-pin connector used in current Apple devices, and is labelled “821-1300-02-HF/c1.”
A Google translation of the report also uncovers some more interesting rumors about the iPhone 5: apparently, the device will be “slightly thicker,” but will feature a “sliding cover” that could accommodate a hardware keyboard. The site also comments on the recent discovery of what is purported to be a fifth-generation iPhone digitizer – with a larger display window and thinner bezel – brandishing this part a fake.
This isn’t the first time a slide-out keyboard has been rumored for the iPhone 5 by the Taiwanese blog – a couple of weeks ago they claimed that three fifth-generation prototypes are currently being tested by Apple, one of which features a keyboard in a sliding cover. They did point out at the time, however, that this prototype could have been put together simply to test the concept, functionality, and form factor, and that it may not mean Apple are considering the feature for their iPhone.
The report also mentions that a future iPhone will boast a 3D screen, although this won’t be a feature of the iPhone 5.
Apple.pro has been the source of many hardware leaks in previous years, and as AppleInsider points out, last July the blog published pictures of a tiny touch screen that was believed to be destined for an “iPod touch nano,” but was later unveiled in Apple’s latest iPod nano. So the parts obtained from overseas suppliers by the blog certainly aren’t to be sniffed at.