In addition to reporting (again) that a CDMA iPhone was on the way for Verizon’s network, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple was working on the fifth generation of iPhone, and that this device would abandon the form factor used in the iPhone 4.
The report didn’t offer any details on exactly what kind of form factor Apple was cooking up in its labs, but using a basic design concept for only one generation of iPhone would be towards the unusual side of things for Apple. The company’s track record is to introduce a new form factor, and then update that design in future iterations subtly and slightly.
For instance, the iPhone 3G was a thinner phone than the original iPhone, but it was a device that closely resembled its predecessor. The iPhone 3GS was almost indistinguishable from the 3G. Most iPod models also followed the similar-but-thinner-and-better evolution for each new generation (the iPod mini-cum-nano being the notable exception).
The iPhone 4 was an abrupt departure from the curvy designs used in the previous models, however, and Observers would have been pardoned in most quarters for expecting the biggest change in the next generation device would be for it to be thinner and for it to have some modifications in the antenna band around the edge of the device.
Not so, according to The Journal, though the reporters in the piece specified that the CDMA iPhone the company is working on will have the iPhone 4 form factor.