Days before Samsung’s 2017 flagship phone hit the stores, and months before any likely formal announcement from Apple, the speculation about the “next iPhone” has been intense already.

Tonight a new image has been leaked which not only looks solid but has been leaked to a pretty reliable source – Melbourne man Sonny Dickson.  Dickson has a long track record for iPhone leaks and they are almost always spot on.

If we are to believe this is a genuine drawing of the body of the next iPhone there are some remarkable insights here.

Firstly it shows some dimensions of height and width.  The 72.497mm width sits between that of the iPhone 7 (67.1mm) and the iPhone 7 Plus (77.9mm).

The height at 149.5mm again sits between both (138.3mm and 158.2).

Let the speculation begin, but this could mean many things.

  1. This is the “Plus” version, and Apple have managed to stretch a similar screen size into a smaller device size.
  2. The standard iPhone is getting bigger (this is highly unlikely)
  3. or, this is a special edition – the iPhone X or iPhone Edition which sits in between the two standard iPhones with a completely new look at innovative features.

The idea that Apple may release an iPhone 7s and 7s Plus is not out of the ordinary.  Though sticking with the current design would lead to commentary they’ve lost their way – given that design would be entering its fourth year.

That commentary would be offset if the “third” model iPhone was something stunning and new.  It would make sense that Apple is working on an edge to edge, top to bottom screen as has been rumored to date.

Which leads us to the other revelation from this design. The circular hold in the middle of the phone.

What you see here is a unibody metal device, the drawing shows the final milled out block ready for the guts to be placed inside. The square around the circle is likely the mounting place for a round fingerprint scanner.

Moving the fingerprint scanner to the back allows Apple to extend the screen from top to bottom in an 18:9 or otherwise “taller” ratio screen like the LG G6 or Samsung Galaxy S8.

Adding such a large screen means the removal of the home button, and the fingerprint scanner.  Talk that Apple are trying to move the fingerprint scanner underneath the screen seem far-fetched, and technically challenging.  The wise move is to move it to the back, and the centre is the perfect location – unlike what Samsung have done on the Galaxy S8.

Also interesting from the drawing is the camera orientation – the dual lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus runs across the top, on this model iPhone shown it would run down the side instead.

And finally, this drawing – if accurate – shows a return to the iPhone 5/5s “square” edge design, though without seeing the glass front we don’t know how curved the edges of that might be.

Whatever the case, this may be the start of an open tap of leaks – when Apple announces the next iPhone is key – while a September announcement is the norm, such radical changes would mean large software overhauls in app design – so an announcement or “reveal” at Apple’s developer conference WWDC in June is looking likely.