By Evan Blass | May 15, 2011 1:00 PM
To be clear: the image above is not the next iPhone; it’s just a mockup that’s been making the rounds. However, the case is very likely genuine, and it would seem to fill in yet another piece of the iPhone 5 (iPhone 4S?) puzzle. Most recent mockups have been based on a report from Engadget break-away site This is my next, and one could conclude that they are accurate enough to act as placeholders for case manufacturers, who require access to dummy units of upcoming devices. In other words, someone with knowledge of the next iPhone’s design may have concluded that this render was a decent approximation of the actual device (iPad screenshot aside).
The case was discovered at Alibaba, a Chinese retail import site whose member companies have been known in the past to leak parts and accessories for upcoming Apple products. Most interesting about this particular model is the obvious pair of cutouts on the back — the current iPhone only requires a single cutout to expose both the camera lens and flash. This leads to speculation that the company has separated these two components on the iPhone 5, probably in an attempt to improve low-light photo and video capture.
While it’s always possible that this was simply a marketing gimmick by case manufacturer Kulcase, we’re inclined to believe that it’s the real deal. If history is any indication, we can expect full disclosure sometime next month, although we’re hearing that an iPhone 5 release won’t happen until sometime in September.