iPhone 5 With A Tapered “Teardrop” Design – Don’t Count On It

New iPhone 5

So far we’ve heard conflicting reports about next generation iPhone’s form factor. According to some reports, next generation iPhone will be completely redesigned and will look more like iPod Touch 4G rather than iPhone 4.

While, some reports claim that fifth generation iPhone will come with improved specifications such as faster processor, 8-megapixel camera etc. just like iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, but won’t feature an all-new design and will look like iPhone 4.

With less than four days to go, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber – uber-famous Apple blogger has chimed in with his thoughts. He begins by saying that he doesn’t know what the next generation iPhone will look like, but writes that his views are based on good old-fashioned speculation and design thinking.

Something about this design seems wrong to me. The proportions seem off. Wouldn’t a teardrop body feel weirdly unbalanced when held horizontally? Look at MacRumors’s mockup of this purported design. It strikes me as ungainly that the “forehead” is smaller than the “chin” on the front face. On all previous iPhones the forehead and chin are the same size, which makes the iPhone look “right” no matter how it’s oriented. This iPhone seems like something that would only look right or feel right when held in portrait. [..]

[..] Symmetry is a hallmark of Apple’s iOS devices to date. They look right in any orientation. In terms of weight and thickness, they feel balanced when held in either orientation. These things are true of all existing iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.

The MacBook Air is symmetric despite its teardrop shape because it has only one orientation. A teardrop iPhone, when held in landscape, would be thicker (and presumably heavier) on one side than the other. That seems wrong to me. Not shockingly wrong, but wrong nonetheless. The iPhone is not as orientation-agnostic as the iPad — the iPhone homescreen and multitasking tray, for example, are portrait-only. But still, all previous models look and feel right when held in landscape.

Consider, for example, how many iPhone games are played in landscape and use the accelerometer for control (e.g. almost all driving games). Seems to me that games like those would suffer on an unbalanced asymmetric iPhone.

He’s also skeptical about the possibility of Apple introducing iPhone 5 with a larger 4-inch screen:

And color me skeptical about a bigger display. If it goes to 4-inches diagonal, but the pixel count remains the same, won’t the pixels-per-inch resolution drop beneath Apple’s own threshold to qualify as a “retina display”? I mean, a 4-inch 960 × 640 display would still be plenty dense and should look good, but Apple tends to make things smaller, not bigger.

He concludes with his trademark Magic 8-Ball Answers your questions:

Q: Will Apple announce at least one new iPhone next week?


Q: Will they release two new iPhones?


Q: If — if — there are two new iPhones, and one of them looks like the iPhone 4, is it certain that the iPhone 4-esque one is the low-end model?


Q: Is there a new iPhone with a tapered “teardrop” design?


Q: Is there a new iPhone with a new form factor, neither like the iPhone 4 nor “teardrop”, which Apple has managed to keep completely secret?


Until now, we’ve been hoping that Apple will launch a redesigned iPhone 5 and surveys also indicate that most of the mobile phone users want a redesigned iPhone 5 rather than iPhone 4S that will look like iPhone 4, but Gruber has raised some valid concerns with the teardrop design for an iPhone.

What do you think? Please share your views in the comments section below.

[via Daring Fireball]

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  • Lol

    Disagree to be honest all mentioned points re the teardrop design are rendered invalid due to there already being an ipod touch with a teardrop design. I guess the iphone will be thicker again, but that doesn’t mean all the weight will go onto the one thicker side.

    • Me

      Um… there’s no iPod touch with a teardrop design. Just sayin’

  • fourtwentybuddy

    Which iPod touch has a teardrop design? My 2/3 and 4th gen don’t appear to be teardropped..

  • Joao Reis

    If its the same design i wont buy it, ill wait for iphone5 i dont want a 4S. Well 1 more year waiting, no problemo.

    • Zolk

      Because you don’t care about specs or capabilities, only about looks?!

      • Joao Reis

        Im expecting a new look yes, i dont like the feel in hand of the iphone4, its not cosmetic when its the design thats is in question here.

        1 year with just a spec jump, it would be very poor for the phone sales.

  • dakpluto

    Rounded =/= teardrop Lol

  • Brian

    All the speculations are funny. It must be nice to get paid to speculate. I bet over have the readers here would be rich if they got paid too.


  • KR

    I hope it stay’s square edged, with my large hands and fat finger my 3gs liked to pop out of my hand with the rounded edge

  • Dado sutra

    Samsung galaxy sII here I come

    • fingers21

      go on then, f@*k off!!!

      • Trapp

        Already have it, streaming full hd over wifi to my tv works like charm! Still curious about new apple phone

  • Idroid7

    I agree, will not have tear drop design.
    But it’s best to wait and see what will be unveiled. Personally I want 64gigs and bigger screen. However as for the latter 4 inch screen will make the phone wider and will thus cause redesigning of 3rd party docking stations, because wider phones would not fit.

  • Isaac

    It’s pure speculation I’m not believing nothing till it comes from the horses mouth because why would apple just wanna release one dam phone that has minor upgrades it don’t make since to delay for over a year for a minor tweaked iPhone

  • iRSX

    What happened to the 8-ball answer to the last question?

    Anyway, I always doubted the teardrop design. I think it’ll be tapered and thinner though.

    • Thanks for pointing it out, we seem to have missed it. We’ve updated the post with it.

  • mkimid

    Those rumors are not conflict.
    i4S has been designed at least end of last year for last June. And, i5 has designed at least early of this year for June 2012.
    It takes a year for making a completely new design. To announce the new design for 2012, apple should have started the new design already.
    Only, question is they will skip the old design. But, from the couple of news, Apple may release i4S in this year.
    Low-end i4 with 8GB, Hign-end i4s 16/32/64gb

  • Paradox

    The fact that this guy gets press for pure “speculation” is rediculous.

    I speculate that the next iPhone will be black, because they always start black. I further speculate that it will take several months unto a year before a white model is released based on past releases.

    Can someone publish this and pay me please?

  • Bullfrog

    You suck, Apple!

    • Pineapple

      Regardlessly… I’m waiting for pwnapple. Sweet 🙂

  • I don’t think the change will be that drastic

  • Mickey

    Honestly I never really liked the “teardrop” concept an still believe that the iPhone 4’s design is superb. Now I am open to change. If the i5 looks like the itouch 4 design but a glass back not aluminum, I certainly buy it 🙂

  • ItsyourBoy

    Check out xsellize.com they have a report about the new iPhone just being a iPhone an iPhone 4s with minor upgrades camerah and ram basically o and a5 chip it’s in the new iTunes beta this sucks ass I was hopeing for a whole new design and a four inch screen apple keeps spoon feeding technology I’m about to switch to an evo or something this is bullshit it’s like 3G to 3GS what’s the f**ing point if apple keeps this bullshit up their gonna get left behind they could have at least threw in the 4g lte or something

    • Kiwiholden

      Wat are you talking about “left behind” they sell as many iPhones as they can make all they need to do is make some small upgrade and ppl will line up for days.
      Let’s face it apple has a hold over us

      • ItsyourBoy

        I say that kuz look at phones like the htc evo which has everything the iPhone had with extras like an open platform 4.5 inch screen interactive wallpaper 4g Internet fully customizable and the list goes on and on the only thing android doesn’t have yet are as much developers to make apps but eventually that will catch up and that’s when apple will get left behind because people will convert other phone companies give the people what they want and apple needs to start doing the same

  • Kiwiholden

    He makes a lot of good points I think.
    I liked the nano look mock up the best and hope it’s something totally new that no one has thourght of and then over the nest year samsung

    • Kiwiholden

      Etc. Would start making devices that look the same

  • ItsyourBoy

    I hope no one buys it if this is true thierry gonna keep doing this if they make their sales we gotta make em work for it they must feel like they can put n e thing out and people will buy it

  • Dth

    Just the sales in China will be enough. They will sell here too,in the millions no matter what. The iPhone 4 is still the biggest selling phone. Better specs and killer OS spells huge sales once again.

  • Shalashaska

    Please …. i beg you… all iphone users know how supperior iphones are to ALL android phones…and stop comparing and warning us that ull switch over…its pretty simple… there are only a few reasons y you would choose an android over an iphone

    1- you dont have the money for an iphone

    2- you have an iphone but barely use it as you should.

    3- you have never compared the difference in reliability/performance/responsiveness between iphone and android.

    4- you are the type of person still thinking the more megapixels the better hence you are hardware oriented. the iphone 4 despite having a smaller processor to the SII is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY faster and way more dynamic in terms of applications…

    5-you detest the iphone and apple

    I think a jailbroken iphone is even better than most laptops in terms of everyday use..anyone thinking of jumping the android wagon is free to do so as we are all titled to choices.

    • Andi54

      Mostly inaccurate…
      GS2 makes 4 look like a snail on many things.
      The web browser loads a lot quicker whether or not a page is flash-enabled!
      GS2 has a better call reception. people seem to forget that it is a phone!!!
      4s camera is good for 5meg sensor but oversaturates colours which means you lose sharpness of pictures when blown up in size. You can easily oversaturate post camera use if you want brighter colours on any camera.

    • ItsyourBoy

      I’ve had an iPhone since the 1st one came out and jailbroken each and everyone one of them and trust I have used it and still using it to it’s full potential have all types of tweaks to make my phone better the only thing I’m saying is I’m getting tierd of apple being behind on features and hardware it should have had years ago and looking over at android they give people what the want point blank with apple at this rate I gotta wait 2years a pop for a real upgrade even this like a dumb ass I still bought all of them but this is the last time if it’s nothing major so I revert to what I said b4 I gotta wait 2 years you don’t see nothing wrong wit that ?

      • Shalashaska

        I do agree that a 2 year wait is rubbish…but and this is a big but… I think that with a5 processors..itll be a long time before a hardware update will make a huge difference in performance…its all about software and rams…i couldnt care less if the S2 loads a webpage 2 seconds faster…however…i have tried numerous times to use the web interface on my wife’s samsung to purchase tickets and money transfers and what have you…and it is PAINFULLY UNRESPONSIVE…i have had a few samsungs and i did love them…up untill they started chasing apple and rating themselves second best…they were quircky and funky and believe me i loved them…in my opinion at least android is a BIG FAIL…it had a lot of promise when it first got launched but somehow they are now toooooo busy targetting what apple is doing that theyve forgotten about you and me…i am of course talking about android as a software…yes it sells in millions but so did britney spears…if andoid are so smart tell me this…how come they are modelling everything according to apple…everyone is doing a touch screen…even BLACKBERRY FFS is now doing touch screens,…like i said…i do agree that a long wait is rubbish and i do welcome a cosmetic change as i never really liked the 4

  • Andi54

    4S=Bye,bye CrApple!!! I put up with all your proprietry, dumb-ass outta date looking OS and eco-system crap(even though it goes against everything I believe in)because I love the design of your hardware. However,I never really got iphone4 envy of my friends whilst i waited a year for the white one to come.
    Iphone 5=Me & many others continueing to stick with iOS & Iphone because the design is a killer.

    I am not alone in this. Yes I love my jailbroken 3GS for all the stuff I’ve put on there & unlocking it etc.

    Real open-minded tech-heads like myself loved iphone because there was nothing even close before, but that’s not the case anymore.

    And yes,I’ve had the money sitting in a shoe to buy the unlocked iphone5 for 4 months(when it shoulda come out although it means at least this time they’re not releasing a model with fundamental design floor!),I will choose to migrate to Android of my own free will…
    White Galaxy S2, will be flashed with a new rom, routed, overclocked to 1.5gig and network unlocked within a few days or I get an iPhone 5.

    Heads I win, tails I win….

  • fas

    So is this design for iPhone 6?

  • Hackkit

    I have the 3GS and im geting the 4S i will not get the iPhone 5 ill get the 5S its all about (S) speed 🙂

    • Alex

      Your an idiot

  • Tom

    Alex, YOU’RE an idiot… just like the rest of the people on here that do not understand punctuation. I feel pretty confident that none of you guys know what the hell you are talking about. You can’t even string sentences together.

    • Nyce

      This site has great iPhone news and rumors but it seems like most post responses are written by idiots, hoodrats, or kids in middle school. Compare responses to engadget or slashdot.