Rumourmodo: Has The iPhone 5 Been Smuggled Out Of The Factory Already?

A Chinese case manufacturer is showing what looks to be an iPhone 5 in their product shots. It looks like the white 3D prototype we published a while back -- complete with its new 19-pin dock port. But could this really be a unit smuggled out of Foxconn's factory?

Maybe it is

The possibility is certainly there. After all, it wouldn't be the first time that someone got their hands on an unreleased iPhone model smuggled out of a factory.

Back in May 12, 2010 -- some weeks after Gizmodo published exclusive video and images of an iPhone 4 lost in a beer house -- another iPhone 4 appeared in video and photos on a Vietnamese site. Apparently, it had been smuggled from the factory. The same happened soon after with the iPod touch.

This took place about a month and a half in advance of the iPhone 4 commercial release, on June 24, 2010. To be sure, Foxconn was already manufacturing the new phones en masse at their Shenzhen factory around the time this video was published. Perhaps even as far back as April, when we published our own story.

Could this mean that Foxconn may already be producing the iPhone 5 in anticipation of its rumoured October launch? It may seem a little bit too early, perhaps. But July is almost over, and that would leave a little more than two months to produce and distribute millions of units to be sold all round the world on the first day of release.

Consider, too, that iPhone 4S sales were far lower than expected these last three months. The reason? iPhone 5 rumours were already scaring people away. It was clearly a sore point during Apple's earnings call this week, and gives the company every reason to get its new handset in the hands of customers as soon as possible. It wouldn't be at all surprising if instead of eating another 2-3 months of lackluster sales, Apple just moved up the iPhone 5's release date. Which means production would have already started.

Maybe it's not

On the other hand, this may be just a custom-made test prototype based on the rumoured specifications. Maybe that's why they are not showing it up close and not making a big deal out of it.

The images -- which someone tried to sell us even though they are publicly available at the case manufacturer's website -- certainly look real. However, we can't be certain that this iPhone is indeed the real McCoy.

The case manufacturer -- Cool Zone PDA -- hasn't replied to my request for comment, but that doesn't change much. Until it gets released, we can only speculate if the next iPhone will really look like this gorgeous render:



    Is it just me, or isn't it plainly obvious (from the reflection of the light) that the iPhone in the picture above is a mock-up made of cardboard?

      Yup the front pic of the screen definitely looks like cardboard....Moving on to the next rumor =0)

      I only laughed so hard..

    It could be a matte screen protector. It doesn't look like cardboard at the button and the bottom connector/ports etc

    Is the cover on the wrong way in the first photo?

    Why does the headphone jack appear on the left in one photo then right in the other? I'm still skeptical that this is the next iPhone and has to be Apple's new attempt at putting people off the actual product.

      Agreed, the top photo shows the headphone jack on the left while the bottom render shows the jack on the right. Also there are speakers on the bottom in the render and no speakers to be seen on the photo.

      Not to mention that white with the two tone look is FUGLY as. I'll be putting a case on mine before leaving the store if the black one is any where near as bad as that.

    "Foxconn may already be producing the iPhone 5 in anticipation of its rumoured October launch? It may seem a little bit too early, perhaps. "

    The iPhone 5 went into production two years ago.
    What, you think it only takes a couple of months to manufacture tens of millions of iPhones and distribute them around the world? Production started two years ago but R&D started long before that.

    Just like manufacturing started on the iPad 5 about two months ago, gearing up for a March 2014 release.

      Oh, and Im not at all saying the images above are legit.

      "The iPhone 5 went into production two years ago."

      Two YEARS? I think it takes a significantly longer time than a couple of months to produce all those phones but to put in perspective, you're saying production of the iPhone 5 started prior to the iPhone 4, Nexus S, hell... even the Windows Phone platform. 2 years is a lifetime in phone years and is absolutely ridiculous.

      Maybe you're unfamiliar with the output of these factories but there was a figure thrown around that suggested between 50-100,000 units per day out of Foxconn alone. After the factories had been retooled and received final fabrication patterns. A launch week sell-out of 3 million is completely plausible for a new iPhone if they started production 2-3 months prior.

        Yes. Two years. I order massive quantities of aluminium for my work and the people I order from have the manufacturing rights to the iPhone and iPad internal casing.
        They started production of the iPad 5 in about May/June this year.
        Foxconn isnt the only place that makes them. They just do the assembly. Other factories have to make the components first. But, to start making the components they have to have a clear goal of what they are making. It all takes time.

    This a viral ad for the re-release of the Bee Gees greatest hits. Surely.

      You Sir, are a misinformed idiot..

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