Latest iPhone 6 concept based on Japanese sketches looks more persuasive


Martin Hajek has been busy this week: after iPhoneclub commissioned him to create concept images of an iPod Nano-inspired design of the iPhone 6, French site Nowhereelse asked him to use the Japanese sketches mentioned in that piece to create something far closer to the existing iPhone 5s design.

With many of our commentators criticizing the square corners of the previous concept, this latest one returns us to the rounded corners we know and love. More controversially, perhaps, we also see a return to the glass back. More images below the fold …

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The design also returns us to the single rocker-style volume button we saw on early iPhones, rather than the two separate buttons seen on later ones.

Hajek has an interesting take on the gold iPhone, giving it a white casing with gold edging. We’ll be reading the comments with interest on that one.


As with the earlier concept, the thinness is probably not entirely realistic, but we can probably expect to see Apple shave a little off the depth of the phone as the larger form factor permits a thinner battery.

As we mentioned earlier, we’re far from convinced that the original sketches are real, but it’s certainly interesting to see renders of something that is probably somewhat closer to the real thing. As ever, let us know in the comments what you think.

Of course, there is still no shortage of silly concepts out there …

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  1. Drew Pitchford - 9 years ago

    Beautiful! I hope it ends up close to this!

  2. Chris Ko Hoffman - 9 years ago

    I still don’t think these are even close. :)

  3. ahboyd (@ahboyd) - 9 years ago

    Nice.. but no place for case to grab on.

  4. Klaus Dietrich Lange - 9 years ago

    I never understood why the “gold” iPhone 5S is actually white. At least the front, which is what you actually look at. Why not make it gold for those who want this colour ?

    • liquidwolverine1 - 9 years ago

      I doubt they didn’t try it, maybe it looked to tacky. I like the accent of gold on the phone.

    • Front panels around the screen are either black or white because 50% of the time, the screen background is either black (video) or white (text). Anything else is distracting.

      • Klaus Dietrich Lange - 9 years ago

        You mean they want to use a neutral “colour” surrounding the screen, makes sense.

  5. The problem with going thinner is the camera. It’s the camera that’s always dictated how thin the phone is. It always will.

    • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

      Um no. Look at the iPod touch 5. It can and will protrude if necessary, and it especially doesn’t matter for the vast majority, as the vast majority use cases which the camera would not protrude the added thickness of the case. Essentially it just means you have a thinner device so you can put your inch thick case on it and it looks a little better since the phone is physically a little thinner. So you don’t have a thick phone + an inch thick case.

    • Shantanu Bhave - 9 years ago

      it’s a 3.5 mm headphone jack that will decide the thickness of the device, at least IMO.

      • Nelson (@n_wama) - 9 years ago

        They can always change it to 2.5 mm headphone jack. But very unlikely!

  6. rahhbriley - 9 years ago

    I love this actually. Haven’t given it much practical scrutiny, but at first glance, it’s beautiful.

    • rogifan - 9 years ago

      Once you give it “practical scrutiny” it won’t be so beautiful anymore. Amazing what someone can do with software when they don’t have to build a physical 3D model or engineer a working physical prototype.

  7. rogifan - 9 years ago

    There is a reason these are only concepts. People who do these computer renders don’t have to think about actually designing and engineering a product for mass production. With this particular design, where’s the camera? This concept looks even thinner than the iPod touch which already has the camera protruding out (thus the back isn’t completely flat) because it’s so thin. And what about the headphone jack? That will limit how thin a device can be. Also battery life. This particular concept doesn’t even look like it would be comfortable to hold in the hand. How would you grip something that thin?

    I know it’s tough for rumor sites because there isn’t much Apple news or rumors right now, but I wish you all would stop posting some joe’s concept render as though it’s legitimate news or rumors. It’s not.

    • Drew Pitchford - 9 years ago

      It may look to thin, but it is based on those spec docs that “leaked” the other day. So it’s about 7mm. Plenty of space for the camera.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      Generally concept images are of interest to 9to5Mac readers, so we post the more sensible ones. There are of course plenty of crazy ones out there we ignore …

      • rogifan - 9 years ago

        Hey, I’m not singling you guys out, I rant about it everywhere. :) Business Insider just put up an article spinning this concept as actual renders of what the new phone will look like. Hogwash. Those schematics that leaked mentioned nothing about materials that would be used. Plus we don’t even know if those drawings are accurate.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

        Yeah, that’s definitely a step way too far, especially when the drawings don’t really make sense.

    • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

      This is hilarious and embarrassing. You literally answered yourself in your comment. The iPod touch 5 has a protruding camera, and rounded edges very similar to this concept. It is incredibly easy to hold and incredibly light. The vast vast majority of people out cases on their phone, so guess what that means? With a case it is never a problem to hold… And the camera would not protrude the thickness of the case…..

  8. alxo1 - 9 years ago

    The one test that obviously fails on this prototype is it appears to be too thin to support a headphone jack. Unless of course Apple has decided to force its customers to purchase BlueTooth headsets.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      There’s a headphone jack bottom-right. It’s certainly pushing the limit for that!

      • rogifan - 9 years ago

        Do you think Apple would move the headphone jack from bottom left to bottom right? What would be the reason?

      • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

        I very much doubt it – I suspect this was done in the concept simply for novelty value

    • zubeirg87 - 9 years ago

      How about going for a 2.5mm headphone jack? Then including a 2.5-3.5mm adaptor for those who need a 3.5mm port. It’s probably unlikely but might be an option if they really want to make the device so thin.

  9. iMacheads - 9 years ago

    Reblogged this on iMacheads.

  10. A LOT closer than that last one, I’d say. I’m not sold on that weird wrap-around bezel thing, but I guess could see Apple pulling it off. I bet it’d feel pretty great in the hand. The thing I love about the 4/4S is the symmetry & weight. My 5 really annoys me how the screen pops about a half a millimeter out from the frame. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they did that. I’ll just sit and stare at it and flip it around and try to figure it out but I can’t. Anyway, the point of my rant being I like the way this concept looks flush & nearly symmetrical. Though it does look like the screen still protrudes ever so slightly. May be some sort of manufacturing thing that is hard to achieve or something.

  11. “More controversially, perhaps, we also see a return to the glass back”

    Uh, this is one man’s idea (and a man not connected to Apple either)…is there REALLY controversy here?

    Return to the back glass? Worded like this is fact. Pu-lease…

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      The whole piece refers to the concept. The *idea* of a return to a glass back is controversial.

      • It would be controversial if he had any ties to Apple whereas this MIGHT become reality is my point. This is fantasy modeling. We would ALL have different ideas of what we think it should be and we could shoot for the moon. That doesn’t make it controversial. It becomes controversial when we see official models from Apple showing THEIR concepts (which we will NEVER see) or the real deal with the “return of the glass back”.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

        If he were to suggest that Apple stop making the iPod, that would be controversial despite the fact that he has no ties to the company.

      • Only if Apple did…

      • Now if a person in the industry that had a lot of influence and whose opinion might matter to Apple suggested they stop making a hot selling device or some such, then THAT persons statement would be controversial. This fella is just rendering models for himself and others pie in the sky hopes and wants. I doubt Apple or anyone listens to his opinion for business. Therefore the statement you mention he might suggest is moot.

    • frankfootball - 9 years ago

      Patrick – controversy just mean disputed, or disputable – or debatable. An idea can be controversial.

      A glass back is controversial because many people dispute a) that it will happen and b) whether it’s good if it does.

  12. Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

    It’s… pretty? I still prefer flat sides, I think. Oh, and obviously a screen size that is usable by anyone.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      I prefer flat sides visually. If anything this thin were practical, however, I think rounded edges might be better for comfort.

      I think it’s academic in this case as I don’t see it being possible to slim the phone this much.

      • zubeirg87 - 9 years ago

        Round edges on both sides really makes no sense. Perhaps round edges just at the back side, like ipads and ipod touches, might be a possibility, for aesthetic reasons as well as functional.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        >>however, I think rounded edges might be better for comfort.

        Unfortunately, I agree. Well, no, not… I wouldn’t be happy with something uncomfortable; it’s just a shame that the two don’t match up. I guess that’s also part of why I still like the 1st gen iPad’s design so much. It’s both! Granted, it’s thicker than I’d want from a tablet anymore, but the look was top notch.

        And if there’s one thing we know about Apple, it’s that they’re pretty good at twisting our views on how thin something can be. [Mr. Creosote sketch “wafer thin”.mp3 not found]

  13. Alex (@Metascover) - 9 years ago

    Yes, this is it. That is exactly what I was talking about in the comments of the previous work he did. I perfectly see this as being a design Apple could use. That metallic ring around the phone looks great.

  14. robertvarga79 - 9 years ago

    These are indeed beautiful, we all could wish for….perhaps won’t get them, but very wishful

  15. Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

    Fairly sure thats not a glass back..

    This design is based on what some think are prototype leaked sketch schematics discovered by Macotakara .. Which I’m hoping are.. they look a lot more legit now it’s been modeled.. The model makes it seem thinner than it is.. it has a full sized stereo jack..

  16. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    Meh. Rounded sides would be nice to hold. But, the back of the gold one isn’t very attractive looking.

  17. Ethan Morgan (@duepeak) - 9 years ago

    This is pure speculation and just a thought. But Apple once made Bluetooth headphones. Anyway they would get rid of the headphone jack and include Bluetooth headphones with the device? Perhaps not now, but someday in the future? I realize this would make obsolete any headphones that consumers already own, but they would also pair nicely with playing music from the ever-rumored iWatch. Just a thought.

  18. mustafa1429 - 9 years ago

    I don’t really like the glass back. Itd be nicer with a continued matte finish all the way around. The glass’ border shows on the back which makes the iPhone kinda ugly.

    Just an opinion

  19. jrox16 - 9 years ago

    Could be thicker with more battery. I hope they reverse this insanity towards thinness. The 5s is thin enough, don’t make any thinner please!

  20. zubeirg87 - 9 years ago

    The device cannot go round on both front side and backside or less it will become larger than it needs to be, and for no real gain on the functional side. The width of the device has always been dictated by the width of the display. Apple has always been willing to make devices as narrow as the display will allow. And my guess is that making the edges round on both faces of the device, the internal components will not be benefitting the inter space at the round edge. So no functional benefit. So my opinion is that it can only go round-edged on the back face of the device just like ipads have always been. That way no space gets wasted inside, more visual appeal and the device feels better to hold by not being unnecessarilly large.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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