But of course, in the iOSphere, none of that really matters. What matters is: There's something to look at. In this case, you're looking at "some interesting pictures of what is allegedly a prototype of the next Apple iPhone (5S, perhaps)."
What you see is a phone that's oval in cross-section, with convex front and back. The glass face seems to extend fully to the edges; with a band of some other material across the top; the traditional iPhone physical home button is missing. There's no hint of what size the actual display screen is or what it looks like.
GSMArena thought they looked familiar, and posted a drawing from a recently published Apple patent application -- for a wrap-around display (see our next item below in this post) -- showing a device that is ... oval in cross-section, with convex front and back. Some commenters thought it looked familiar, too, and one suggested that Nokia should sue Apple if this turns out to be the Next iPhone. Here's why: the Nokia 900 series, such as the 920 model, which is oval in cross-section and has a convex back but a flat screen.
"However, we have to note that this kind of design isn't typical of Apple," says GSMArena, with breezy confidence. "The company tends to favor more squarish designs, which allow it to make full use of the space within the smartphone's chassis and create more compact devices."
Edwin Kee, at Ubergizmo, agrees. "Still, it does not look too 'Apple', if you get what I mean," he writes. We get what he means: It clearly lacks that hard-to-define Applish quality.
But then he disagrees with GSMArena, and of course with himself. "[B]ut who knows? Apple is always one company known for their radical decisions when challenging times call for it."
So Apple would never create a design like this. Unless it did.
As this post at The iPhone Wiki shows, the basic iPhone front appearance has so far been a rectangle with rounded corners. There have been differences in how Apple designed the sides and back of each model and in the materials used in construction. One priority in the company's design philosophy, at least according to Apple, is to ask how a given product can be improved, rather than how it can be changed.
iOSpherians were quick to extrapolate. "The lack of a Home button in the photographs could indicate that iOS 7 will have more advanced gesture control functionality," extrapolated Ashleigh Allsopp at Macworld UK.
As someone said recently, who knows?
iPhone 6 will have wrap-around display and seamless glass housing
We're a teensy bit late with this one.
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