Photographs of what a Chinese news site claims are iPhone 5S parts appeared on Weibo—a microblogging service like Twitter that is popular in China—and were subsequently published by Chinese news site EXPreview (Google Translate). The images show a device similar to the iPhone 5, but the report describes a device with more RAM, a faster processor, NFC, fingerprint sensors, and more.
According to the report, Weibo user C Technology posted the images (Weibo account required to view a Weibo user). These images and the story describing them are firmly in the camp of an unverified rumor, but the photographs are compelling. Apple hasn't announced the iPhone 5S, and isn't expected to do so until late September, at the earliest.
The back of the device (shown above) is cut from a "single ingot," which sounds a lot like the unibody construction methods Apple first explored with the original MacBook Air. It will supposedly run a 4-inch IGZO display with a resolution of 1136 x 640, the same resolution as the iPhone 5.
It will be powered by the same A6 processor family used in the iPhone 5, but will be running at a faster clock speed. It will also sport 2GB of RAM, up from 1GB in the iPhone 5. The GPU will be upgraded from a 3-core PowerVR SGX5 43MP3 to a quad-core PowerVR SGX 554MP4. It's safe to assume this means graphics will be even better.
The camera will supposedly be bumped to a 12-megapixel with dual LED flashes.
All of these features fall under the bigger/better category, but the report also said that this device will have NFC and fingerprint recognition. There are no specifics on how either technology will be used or presented.
Our conclusions can be found below the fold.
We believe the cases are probably real. There appear to be a couple of hundred of them in this stack, which is more than one might need or want for test runs. With Apple, of course, you never know, and we have often pointed out that Apple's supply chain is so huge, that it's impossible to understand the big picture from small data points.
In addition to that, these look very similar to the iPhone 5, and Apple's history so far is that the "S" model upgrades look a lot like their predecessors. Put all that together, and it looks reasonable.
The specs, on the other hand, are a lot more doubtful. It seems strange that the same person who could access and photograph stacks of parts—most likely in a factory—would also have access to the specs of the parts going into the device.
Still, you never know. We simply wouldn't suggest banking too much on that aspect of this story either way.