The leaked photos published by Apple.pro show a device that is very similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S in terms of overall look and design. The front panel clearly shows that the device will have a larger display than the current iPhones.
Each iPhone since the 2007 original has had a 3.5-inch display. Apple's Retina Displays may look great, but are significantly smaller than many of today's leading smartphones, which offer displays measuring 4.3 to 5.3 inches. The Samsung Galaxy S III, for example, sports a 4.8-inch display. So far, many reports this year have suggested that the next iPhone will have a display that measures 4 inches, which is still smaller than the bulk of the competition.
Another notable design change in the new iPhone front panel shows the FaceTime camera has been moved to a centered position above the earpiece speaker.
Other part leaks show an iPhone that carries forward the same design as today's iPhone 4/4S, only elongated to fit the larger display. Those hoping for an all-new Liquidmetal design may be disappointed with the iPhone 5's looks.
[ The Apple rumor mill is running hot. See iPad Mini To Be Priced Competitively. ]
The device is also expected to lose the 30-pin port that Apple has used on devices such as the iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad for years in favor of a smaller port. The new port will still likely be proprietary to Apple, and not conform to the industry standardized mircoUSB port that's used by other manufacturers.
The other big change expected in the iPhone 5 is the addition of support for LTE 4G networks. Apple already offers LTE in the new iPad.
In other iPhone 5 news, Japanese blog Macotakara reports that Asian manufacturers have already begun assembling the device.
The iPhone 5 is widely expected to debut in the fall, most likely in September or October. Manufacturers would need to be already working on the device for it to make such a debut.