Poll: what’s this square thing inside the iPhone 5 for?

By , Sep 6, 2012

A set of four new high-quality photographs have emerged, seemingly depicting the complete front assembly of Apple’s next iPhone, due for unveiling at a San Francisco media event next Wednesday. These new images provide a detailed look at a square chip which leaked earlier and prompted pundits to speculate that it houses a Near-Field Communications (NFC) sensor, later debunked by the eagle-eyed experts over at AnandTech.

One of the theories has it that this thing is a fingerprint sensor, based on Apple’s hasty $356 million acquisition of smart sensor maker AuthenTec. There are other possible answers to this mystery and I couldn’t help myself collecting all the plausible possibilities in an amusing poll, included right below…

Sonny Dickson first published these shots over at his personal blog.

You can click any of the images in this post for high-rez.

Here’s another one.

And one more…

What could this mysterious chip be?

There are several theories floating around.

According to 9to5Mac, it’s not a chip but the handset’s earpiece speaker.

Cult of Mac news editor John Brownlee thinks this could simply be “a required silion to make the new iPhone’s in-cell touchscreen work.

As for NFC and fingerprint sensor, Dickson talked to mendmyi‘s Riki Baker who speculated that “Apple may well be keeping these features under lock and key until their announcement on September 12”.

I’m also eager to hear your opinion so I’ve put together a little poll, here it goes.


By the way, if you’re wondering how fingerprint scanning and wireless charging could look like on a future iPhone, here’s your answer (also pay attention to the “rubberband electronics” segment at the end).

As always, don’t shy away from posting your observations down in the comments.

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  • I see an earpiece speaker, stupid 8.89%

  • Mads Teland

    I think it’s not NFC, it’s native scan for camera to scan Q-codes or something, you will see it on images 🙂

  • Somehow I think apple is bringing better face recondition

  • Kevin

    what’s the piece with a QR code on it?

  • I thought it was called AuthenTec not AnandTech.

  • unlocking magnet sensor for smart cover 😛

  • No more Obama

    27% of respondents (the highest of all the choices) said slow new day huh? translation, enough with the polls ziberg

  • its either a 200 watt subwoofer or a flux capacitor

    • 2.21 gigawatts you mean

      • Hyr3m

        The quote is actually “1.21 gigawatts” in english. I’ve noticed they changed it to 2,21 in the french-speaking version (guess it sounded better), they must’ve done the same in other translations so I’ll assume you didn’t watch it in english… 🙂

  • It’s a mind control chip they no longer need to implant them in to your body pmsl

  • this is another sensor to detect gestures (i guess 😉 )

  • its not a speaker that is below the camera with the proximity sensor.

  • It’s a chip that disables all Samsung devices within a 25′ radius 🙂

  • its a mini RC bomb. If some one steals ur phone, you can just blow him off…
    good work Apple..

    • “blow him off”….. not good wording there. Next time put “blow them up”

      • Yes bro.. Thats what i meant…

  • This seems more likely than what was written in the article. Love how no one took you seriously. I did!

  • The second pic shows the so called chip downwards with golden springs has connectors used in some speakers , the cable form the camera seems to pass troght to the sensor, It looks like some GPS antennas I know, some RFID chips, or some short of antenna. NFC maybe…

  • Rubberband Electronics, that would be a nice feature.

  • nima

    there is one like that in the 4/4s its the memory

  • nima

    lol idb, ithought your a bit smarter, its the memory chip which was in the iphone 3g/3gs/4/4s/5 butthey have changed the shape and made it a bit smaller

  • It might be:
    1. NFC
    2. Redone Sensor
    3.Smartcover sensor for iPhone?
    4. Anti-Stun?
    5. IDK, if it’s something special, they’ll tell us next Wednesday (September 12:th) 🙂

  • HD Front facing camera sensor

  • I’m gonna laugh is it was just an extra piece they forgot to take off and everyone is making such a big deal about it.

  • Hyr3m

    Maybe it’s an actual good quality sound processing chip?
    Oh wait… no, Apple would never make good quality music listening devices.Music on my walkman from the 90s sounded better than it does now on iPhones and iPods…