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August 15, 2012

Slate: What the next iPhone is going to look like

The new iPhone looks pretty much like the old iPhone. Sure, it's a bit taller, allowing for a display that has one extra row of icons on the Home screen. And instead of the glass that you find on the back of today's iPhone, the new model's posterior is composed mainly of some kind of metal — either stainless steel or aluminum that has been polished and, in the case of the black version, treated by a chemical process to turn it a dark, matte gray. (On the white model, the metal on the back looks untreated.)

The other difference is the dock connector — instead of the inch-wide plug that Apple has placed on almost every iPod, iPhone and iPad since 2003, the new iPhone will inaugurate a new, tiny plug that we'll presumably find on all of Apple's other devices, too. Finally, and strangely, the headphone jack is now on the bottom of the phone, rather than the top.

But that's it. When CEO Tim Cook announces the next iPhone sometime next month, industrial designers and Apple obsessives are going to scrutinize all of the changes, but I bet ordinary users won't look twice. The iPhone's design touchstones — the Home button, the wide top and bottom bezel surrounding the screen, the just-perfect width — are all there on the new model. The volume buttons and the mute switch are also unchanged. If you were to give the new phone to folks who don't follow the tech industry closely, your respondents would recognize the thing as an iPhone — not the "new iPhone," not the "iPhone 5," not the best iPhone yet, but just the iPhone.

And that, I think, explains why we know all this stuff about the new iPhone in the first place. Over the last few months, 9To5Mac.com, iLabFactory and other blogs that follow Apple obsessively have posted a string of images of parts from the new phone. Not only have we seen top, bottom and side views of the iPhone, but we've also seen several pictures of its components — the motherboard, the battery, the dock connector — and even some videos, too.

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  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

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