Noted Australian leakster Sonny Dickson, who made a name for himself by supplying a steady stream of photos showing genuine components for unreleased Apple products, has been pretty silent lately. Silent, but not inactive.
Yesterday, Dickson re-joined the rumor game by tweeting out a pair of quality images that appear to show off a 4.7-inch variant of the iPhone 7 next to its 5.5-inch brethren. Both devices are in Rose Gold and have a tweaked camera design on their backside.
Top of post, you can clearly see iPhone-like devices in 4.7 and 5.5-inch varieties with an all-white front plate. The placement of the side buttons, the front-facing FaceTime camera and holes for the sensors at the top appear to be unchanged from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
The devices’ backside reveals Rose Gold finish and most of the expected features, including subtler antenna bands that run across the top and bottom, changed cameras, a microphone hole, LED flash and more.
On the 5.5-inch model, we can see a dual-lens imaging system with a curved camera termination while the 4.7-incher apparently has a bigger camera hole—again, all in line with past iPhone 7 rumors.
Now, there are a few possibilities here.
This could be:
- Someone’s elaborate hoax—I wouldn’t bet the farm on that explanation due to the fact that basic image forensics analysis shows nothing that would raise red flags. The devices pictured on Sonny’s shots look unmistakably Apple and appear to have the fit and finish associated with shipping products.
- iPhone 7 prototype—One of the possibilities is that this could be an early iPhone 7 prototype that may or may not represent the final product.
- The real deal—With only a few weeks until Apple’s unveiling and new iPhones having been in production since this summer, these devices may have been smuggled out of a factory or at the very least pictured at the manufacturing facility. Plus, we can see FCC and warning labels.
- Dummy case—These are a dime a dozen in China, as we saw in the past. An accessory/case maker may have created a dummy iPhone 7 case with nothing inside to show what the phones might look like based on the rumors.
- Android device—Nope, but since you’ve mentioned it—this iPhone 7 lookalike is definitely a replica running Android.
Still, we’re hesitant to claim the photos represent the real product because:
- No video—Sonny didn’t supply a short video that would have made making any judgments as to the accuracy of the photos that much easier.
- It’s turned off—A recent video out of China showed a fully functional iPhone 7. The device was turned on and ran Apple’s internal testing software. So, why didn’t Sonny provide a photo of the device with the display turned on? Possible explanations: it’s a non-functioning prototype, a deliberately crippled device or Sony might post a video later.
- No Smart Connector—Unbox Therapy yesterday posted its hands-on video that revealed three vertical pins on the backside of the iPhone 7 Plus, suggesting Smart Connector-like accessories or wireless charging. The 5.5-inch device on Sonny’s images doesn’t show any pins on the back.
- “Normal” Home button—Rumors regarding the next iPhone’s Home button are inconsistent, but some noted analysts expect a tweaked Home button sitting flush with the front face of the phone, if not an-all digital, non-moving Home button. The devices on Sonny’s images display the usual Home button that clicks, like on prior iPhones. On the other hand, Apple may have decided to save a digital Home button for a major tent anniversary iPhone revamp next year, so the normal Home button seen on Sonny’s photos could be nothing to write home about.
I reached out to Dickson seeking clarification and will update the story with new information in case he replies. A lot of his followers on Twitter asked him to provide additional information, to no avail, so I’m not holding my breath either.
What’s your take on these photos?
Source: Sonny Dickson