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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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  • 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

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    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.

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  • 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

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.40.34 PM.png VIDEO: Would-be carjacker stymied by stick shift

    A man ordered a mother and her son out of their SUV at gunpoint in an Omaha neighborhood, but was forced to flee on foot, police said, because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_zuckerberg.jpg The logic of Facebook's multibillion-dollar shopping spree

    Yet again, Facebook has spent a gaudy sum of money to buy a hot startup. This time, it's virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR, at a purchase price of $2 billion. And don't be surprised if Mark Zuckerberg continues on his buying spree.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newborn.JPG Census: U.S. has fewest births since 1998

    The U.S. recorded the most deaths in its history and the fewest births since 1998, resulting in the lowest population gain from natural causes in 35 years, an analysis of 2013 Census Bureau estimates released Thursday shows.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_mudslide.jpg Mudslide region deals with 'mind-numbing' disaster

    As hundreds of workers spent a fifth day digging through debris and wreckage, the death toll increased to 16 and was expected to keep rising; worse, no survivors have been found since Saturday, the day the landslide hit.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sleeping-woman2.jpg 8 million people take prescription sleep aids, but these drugs have risks

    About 8 million adults turn to prescription sleeping pills for help every month, according to a study published last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And yet, one specialist warns, these medications all have flaws.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

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