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iPhone 5 stolen, leaked to case makers?

Another prototype iPhone 5 went missing, according to rumours, to be used as a template for cases. Does this explain all the accessories?

It seems it's not just Apple employees letting slip prototypes of the shiny new iPhone 5. Someone from the factory that makes the phone half-inched one and sold it to case makers, which would help explain all the unofficial iPhone 5 cases that keep surfacing.

An accessories supplier in Shenzhen, China, told MIC Gadget that someone from Foxconn, which manufactures the handset, stole one and sold it on. So this rogue iPhone 5 could still be in the wild. Stay vigilant.

The prototype was disguised in a case to make it look like an iPhone 4, which would square with what we learned about the iPhone 5 that went missing in a bar recently. The actual device is thought to have the tapered 'teardrop' design we brought you news of thanks to a... leaked case.

Whoever took the phone then sold it for about £2,000 to an iPhone case manufacturer, who went into overdrive making cases, judging by the flood of Chinese models already on the market.

The cases are thinner, but wider and longer than those for the iPhone 4. Of course, this could just be a case (sorry) of the manufacturers chancing their arm and guessing on the dimensions, there's no way of knowing.

Apple is holding an iPhone event on Tuesday, where it'll either announce the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S or both, depending on who you believe. If it is an iPhone 5, it's expected to have an 8-megapixel camera, the same dual-core processor as the iPad 2, and a bigger screen. The 4S is expected to be a speedier version of the iPhone 4.

A few weeks ago, an Apple employee was said to lose a prototype iPhone 5 in a tequila bar in San Francisco. This echoed a similar incident with the iPhone 4 last year, which led to the prototype being sold to a website.

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