With all the success of its current lineup of iPhones, Apple doesn't even need to release an iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S launch in China had to be canceled because too many people showed up and the Chinese S.W.A.T. team called in to crowd control. Ah, right, iPhone 5. Bigger screen and symmetrical form factor.
9to5Mac aka the guys with
spies contacts within Foxconn (the company that assembles iPhones, Xboxes and most of your electronics) say that the next iPhone will have a four-inch screen (up from the 3.5-inch on all iPhones), a brand new form factor with no tapered/teardrop design and will be slightly longer and wider.
Hey, sounds a lot like the iPhone 5 that was a no show at the iPhone 4S's unveil in October.
U.S. & World
The tapered design was first reported first reported by Josh Topolsky from This Is My Next/The Verge. Logical as it sounds for a teardrop shape, the device was probably a rejected prototype that was floated around.
I think Apple pundit John Gruber nailed it when he called out the chance of a teardrop iPhone happening. Gruber stated such a design would unbalanced and strange to hold horizontally in one hand. Apple's always been interested in keeping all of its gadgets balanced.
Do note that other companies like Motorola have used a teardrop-like design in their devices. Example: Motorola Droid X and Droid RAZR — both smartphones that sport "humps" on one end. Go ask those users if they've had any unbalanced weight issues.
Seth Weintraub from 9to5Mac cautions that the iPhones his Foxconn source saw were not final and could change. Production is said to be ramping up, and a summer release back on track.
Last year's iPhone 4S launched later than the typical June/July release cycle of its predecessors. Good, because my contract is about up too, and if the iPhone 5 doesn't start generating something other than smoke, I'm seriously considering switching to an Android smartphone with a 720p screen and 4G LTE.