We're still three months from when it's likely to launch but the iPhone 5 rumours are coming thick and fast at the moment.
Today we're seeing an interesting new filing at the US patent office that could pave the way for a super-slim next-gen Apple phone, plus we've spied 'mould engineering drawings' giving us an early glimpse of the all-important visuals.
Apple constantly has a whole heap of clever tricks up its sleeve, and is one of the more regular patrons of the US Patent and Trademark Office. But its latest application – for a device entitled a Low Profile Plug Receptacle – certainly sounds intriguing.
The gist of it all, reports The Register, is that it describes ways of reducing the size required by the ubiquitous 3.5mm audio jack and its housing, with the obvious implication of being able to cut the thickness of the overall device. And given the dramatically skinny iPad 2, we imagine that's clearly something the Apple engineers are planning to carry over to the next-gen iPhone too.
The patent caters for the potential for the socket itself to be less than fully circular, with some of the jack effectively protruding above the device's surface. Alternatively, the system could allow for a hinged housing that would swing open to accommodate the jack, or take the form of a covered slot using a “semi-flexible material” that would extend and hold the jack in place.
9to5Mac, meanwhile, has posted what it's calling “mould engineering drawings” of the iPhone 5 – these are drawing used by case designers to create cases. We're not sure how accurate – or current – the designs are, but they reveal a device rather close in form to the iPhone 4, but featuring the larger display and thinner bezel already speculated upon.
The drawings have surfaced from iDealsChina, who report: “we just got what appears to be mould engineering drawings for iPhone 5. These would be used by case designers to create plastic, TPU, aluminum, silicone and leather cases. A while back we hear rumors that iPhone 5 would have a curved back but these images show iPhone 5 with the same form factor as iPhone 4 but with an edge to edge screen.”