Apple is ditching the glass back introduced with the iPhone 4, and will return to an aluminum back, according to a report originating with Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News, translated by Google, and interpreted by a Japanese blog (that was then translated by Google). In other words, there’s a lot of links in this rumor chain, so keep a bag of salt handy, just in case.
We offer that trail because the straight Google translation from Chinese to English leaves much to be desired, but the translation from Chinese to Japanese appears to offer better results (any of our readers that can offer some help on the translations are encouraged to do so in the comments).
Nonetheless, the report, which was attributed to a source in Apple’s OEM chain in China, is in sync with other reports that Apple plans to abandon the iPhone 4 form factor, in part to address issues with antenna signal attenuation that came with the device’s use of an external antenna.
Japanese blog Macotakara wrote, “EDN reported [that] a Chinese source [said] Apple seems to [be] changing [the] form factor of iPhone [back] to [an] aluminum case, which was [originally] used, […] and to give up using glass.”
Other tidbits from the source include the not-so-surprising news that iPhone 5 with use the dual-core A5 processor Apple introduced with the iPad 2, and that the device is likely to be announced at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June or July of this year, the usual schedule Apple has used for the device.