We’re likely only days away from Apple’s launch of the iPhone 5se, but lately new-iPhone rumors have turned their attention away from that four-inch hardware and towards what Apple could be prepping for this fall’s new full-sized iPhone 7. First a leak attempted to reveal the long-rumored changes Apple was making to the smartphone’s rear shell, moving the body’s antenna lines towards the very edges of the handset’s back. The original leak was soon accompanied by a mockup render, and later joined by a hands-on pic – though one we suspected might not be genuine. We’re still not sure if today’s new image is the real deal or not, but it certainly gives us a cleaner look at the hardware, attempting to show off the new antenna stripe along the iPhone 7’s bottom edge.
Admittedly, the sourcing on this new image isn’t super strong, and there’s the possibility we could be looking at another (well done) fan composite. We certainly can’t help but be a little suspicious about being shown only the featureless bottom edge of the phone, and nothing up top (which would include the far-more-difficult-to-render-accurately cutouts for the smartphone’s rumored camera changes).
There’s also the very real possibility that we’re looking at prototype hardware, especially this far out from an expected launch. That means that Apple may be experimenting with several hardware designs, and even if this leak is real, it may not represent the iPhone 7 as Apple ultimately plans to release the phone.
Compared to earlier depictions, the stripe here isn’t quite pushed all the way back to the phone’s edges, rendering it a bit more visible. Could that be a practical move on Apple’s part, or just a matter of trying out plenty of variations during prototyping? Maybe some further leaks will land to show this hardware from additional angles and give us a better sense of what to expect.