iPhone 4S, metal iPhone 5 hinted at in N94 prototype
The N94 is an Apple prototype that could be the cheap version of the next iPhone, while a metal iPhone 5 is also waiting in the wings.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
iPhone 4, meet iPhone N94. The N94 is an Apple prototype that could be the cheap version of the next iPhone -- the iPhone 4S -- while a metal iPhone 5 is also waiting in the wings.
The N94 gives a closer look at the parts that will go in to the stripped-down iPhone. The parts surfaced at repair service uBreakiFix, which notes the new device is strikingly similar to the current iPhone.
This potentially adds credence to rumours of a budget iPhone, which seems more like an upgrade to the features list in the same familiar body as the current model, rather than a whole new phone. The picture above shows the new phone in its entirety, courtesy of Macpost.
One thing that looks like it's been given a new
lease of life is the camera, which appears in these pics to have a different module. It's worth pointing out though, that the N94 is an engineering test model from March, and Apple is reported to have moved on even further up, to at least the N97.
Apple could be looking to repeat what it did when upgrading to the iPhone 3GS from the iPhone 3G. A cheaper iPhone 4 would be lovely for cash-strapped iFans, but isn't as exciting as a whole new phone.
So we're chuffed by word on the street that a fully fledged iPhone 5 is also on the cards, to launch roughly alongside the cheaper model. The full-blown iPhone 5 will sport a screen measuring between 3.5 and 3.7 inches, according to DigiTimes.
The iPhone 4 is also set to include a metal back for the first time since the original iPhone, after the iPhone 3G was swathed in plastic and the iPhone 4 clad in reinforced glass.
Either phone could launch as soon as September. Fingers crossed, phone fans.