Taiwanese website Apple.pro has been correct with its rumors in the past and it is now stating that Apple is testing three different iPhone prototypes. One model reportedly incudes a side-sliding keyboard, a feature that has been hinted at in the past, but has never come to fruition. Other prototype models include variants of the current iPhone 4 which share the same outward appearance but offer internal improvements in the hardware. One model reportedly has an upgraded battery and an 8-megapixel camera instead of the 5-megapixel that graces the iPhone 4.
As is always the case, the existence of a prototype does not always mean the testing device is intended for public release. Manufacturers routinely develop multiple versions of a device to test out different functionalities and many devices don’t make it past the R&D rooms. So while the idea of a QWERTY-packing iPhone 5 sounds wonderful to some, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to come out. It may be scrapped just like the 7-inch iPad Steve Jobs alluded to during Apple’s Q4 2010 earnings conference when he went on diatribe about Android and its tablets.
Not to be left out of the loop, Digitimes is also chiming in with its information on the upcoming iPhone 5. The Asian newspaper claims Apple is working on an iPhone 5 with a 4-inch display. This bump up in size is meant to narrow the gap between the iPhone and the iPad and to help Apple compete in the 4- to 7-inch smartphone and tablet market. While Apple may not expect a 4-inch smartphone to compete with the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, it may be boosting size of the iPhone 5 to remain competitive with the other Android handset models. Most Android handsets feature a display that ranges somewhere between 4- to 4.3-inches, a luxurious size that makes web browsing and navigation a dream.