iDealsChina has revealed an image they claim is China's first iPhone 5 photo. Seen below, the part is wrapped in plastic and looks to have a familiar iPhone screen profile. 9to5 Mac explains the part may be a digitizer panel for the next generation Apple iPhone.
The black bezel on the part is noticeably thinner on all sides, matching previous reports from DigiTimes and others claiming that Apple is developing a 4-inch screen for the iPhone 5. A larger Retina display would compete with a variety of Android devices that already offer 4-inch screens.
Although it's difficult to judge from only one photo, if this part is real the iPhone 5 screen would cover the entire width of the device. Rumors of an iPhone nano have recently been debunked, however the screen was described as "edge-to-edge" on the smaller model. It seems Apple is planning to offer an edge-to-edge screen for a normal-sized iPhone 5.
Apple is said to be completely redesigning the iPhone 5. Besides a possible larger screen, the device will include a next generation A5 processor and is likely to include a hybrid GSM/CDMA modem. This baseband is already installed in the Verizon iPhone 4 and would make it possible for one iPhone 5 model to operate on AT&T or Verizon networks. Currently the Verizon iPhone 4 will only operate with the carrier's CDMA technology.
Unfortunately for iPhone fans, it looks like Apple might delay the iPhone 5 launch until September. Design changes and limited supplies of key components could be at fault, as well as a delayed iPad 2 launch. More leaks are bound to appear in the coming months surrounding Apple's next smartphone. Should a 4-inch screen be in the works, it would certainly be a major upgrade for the next iPhone.