On Tuesday, a report from BGR suggested that Apple is planning to launch a completely redesigned iPhone 5 in the fall of next year. With Apple’s trend of releasing iPhones dubbed with ‘S’ followed by a redesign, it is very likely that Apple will redesign the back of the iPhone 5 with an all aluminum back, getting rid of Apple’s current all glass design.
The report also suggests that the new fifth gen iPhone will include a plastic bumper of sorts, possibly to keep direct skin contact away from the antennas on the bezel of the iPhone. With the introduction of the iPhone 4, Apple experienced a press meltdown with customers suggesting that skin contact with the antenna would drop calls and bars on the network. The plastic would resemble a bumper of some sorts, with the antenna lying underneath.
We have also learned that Apple is planning to use a rubber or plastic material — similar to the material used in the company’s bumper cases — that will be built into the new iPhone case. In all likelihood, this material will be used as a bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone (like the iPhone 3GS bezel) and it will serve two purposes. First, it will join the glass iPhone face with a new aluminum back plate. It will also cover a redesigned antenna system that surrounds the device, allowing Apple to build the rear case out of aluminum without having to use a large plastic insert above the antennas as the company does on its iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G.
Apple’s iPhone 5 with a redesign, A6 chip, and Siri improvements is expected to be released sometime in Fall 2012, similar to the release of the iPhone 4S. It is also possible that Apple was set to introduce the iPhone 5 this year, but delay in getting Siri ready for release pushed the release to 2012, and reused the iPhone 4 design for the iPhone 4S. Various announcement dates have been speculated for the new iPhone, including a February through April timeframe, and the new Fall 2012 time frame.