iPhone 5 rumor roundup in the week ending May 5: new mockups, NFC chip and iWallet, Liquidmetal and others

Thinner iPhone 5 and with larger screen, analysts say

According to a report from global securities and investment group Jefferies, Apple’s next iPhone will be 20 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 due to the use of new materials.

In addition, the device is expected to have a 4-inch screen and get an improvement resolution.

According to Jefferies’ prediction, given that the iPhone 4 and the 4S both have Retina display, the iPhone 5 could come with a screen with higher than 324 pixels per inch.

iPhone 5 to feature NFC chip and iWallet technology

The International Business Times reported this week that the Cupertino company is planning on introducing the NFC technology that allows users to ay wirelessly for products at merchants, which is considered to be an extremely safe method for such transactions.

Through iWallet, users have control over their credit card profile, bank payments and statements and even manage parental controls for children who would be tempted to use the iPhone as digital wallets.

In addition, besides using their phones for purchasing, users will also benefit from “Gifting,” a method that allows secure transferring of digital files.

iPhone 5 Liquidmetal concept

French designer Antoine Brieux has created a concept of the smartphone called the iPhone LM aka iPhone Liquidmetal, based on the latest rumors that the device will feature ‘liquid metal’ technology which is highly resistant to scratching.

One of the most interesting aspects of the mockup is that the physical home button has been replaced by an identical but “virtual” one which suggests that the display’s aspect ratio could be increased to 16:9. That would allow for a bigger screen while maintaining the form factor.

Brieux’s concept is also powered by a 4.5-inch screen and a frame that is 116.2 mm long, 59.4 mm wide and 7.9 mm deep, according to Nowhere Else.

The iPhone Plus concept

Italian design group ADR Studio has imagined an iPhone that features a 4.3-inch Retina Display that is edge to edge across the device.

The concept is powered by an A6 Quad Core processor and also boasts a 10-megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front facing camera.

The concept is extremely slim and uses materials such as double alkali-alumino silicate glass plate and chromium edging, with a frame made from Liquidmetal alloy.

Leaked iPhone 5 SIM card tray reveals no design changes

MacRumors reported this week that component vendor SW-BOX.com claimed to have received the iPhone 5 SIM card tray from one of its component suppliers.

However, its design seems to be identical to that of the iPhone 4/4S which suggests that the iPhone 5 won’t look too different from its predecessor.

The site notes that a flat-edged form factor comes in contrast to earlier reports suggesting that the next iPhone would feature “a tapered or rounded-edge design that would likely require a somewhat curved exterior surface for the tray or at least a thinner tray profile as was seen in earlier iPhone models such as the 3G and 3GS.”

Apple might not use Liquidmetal in the next two to four years, expert says

On Wednesday, Business Insider reported that Liquidmetal inventor Atakan Peker expects Apple to use the technology “in a breakthrough product.”

“This is very exciting. Therefore, I expect Apple to use this technology in a breakthrough product. Such product will likely bring an innovative user interface and industrial design together, and will also be very difficult to copy or duplicate with other material technologies,” Peker said.

However, Peker also believes that Apple won’t use the alloys as a major component in the next two to four years, crashing hopes of a Liquidmetal iPhone 5.

4-inch Multi-Touch display iPhone 5 concept

[FUSE]Chicken, a research, design, and engineering studio in Ohio, has imagined an iPhone 5 with a 4-inch widescreen Multi-Touch display.

The concept features a 10-megapixel iSight camera and a 5-megapixel camera on the front.

The designed iPhone also sports a pair of quad speakers for stereo in landscape and portrait modes, as well as a central headphone jack.

iPhone 5 to feature 4-inch display and smaller dock

iLounge editor Jeremy Horowitz wrote this week that Apple’s next flagship device will be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S: the dimensions of the new mobile would be 125 x 58.5 x 7.4 mm, compared to115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm for the current model.

The site speculated that the next iPhone could be made partially of Gorilla Glass 2 and sport a 4-inch display.

Also, the size of the dock connector will be fairly reduced to the extent that it will have just 16 pins instead of 30, as is the case with the current model.

Reduced touch-panel shipments point to new iPhone release

According to sources cited by DigiTimes, touch-panel shipments will be cut from 15 to 20 percent compared with the first quarter.

The report states that the company is planning on adopting the new in-cell technology for the next iPhone which is “moving into the final stage.”

Recent reports have stated that the next-generation iPhone will use thinner in-cell technology for multi-touch display.