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iPhone 5 to return to 3GS design?

Is this the new iPhone 5 case?
Is this the new iPhone 5 case?

The iPhone 5 seems pretty much nailed on for launch in a couple of months' time - but apparently new cases have appeared to give away certain elements of the design.

Chinese case manufacturers have been sent design briefings of the new iPhone 5 chassis, and according to Mobile Fun, feature a return to the olden days of iPhone design with a curved back, rather than the square appearance of the popular fourth iteration of Apple's phone.

We can't begin to tell you how sceptical we are over such a 'leak', given Apple's desperation to keep its forthcoming designs under wraps, but this wouldn't be the first time a case maker has outed designs before launch.

Apparently two different manufacturers have been sent the same designs and produced cases according - the images seem to suggest that there will be an edge-to-edge display and a super thin chassis to complement the curved back - think advanced iPod touch and you're not a million miles away.

Real or no real?

Other little nuggets of spurio-truth include a re-imagining the home button as a "touch-sensitive ovaloid area", plus the power and volume keys all being chucked around the chassis to make it more finger-friendly.

Would Apple remove the iconic home button for a more-confusing touch-sensitive area? It seems unlikely, but given we're firmly marinating in rumour-juice here we're prepared to take a look at anything.

So there you have it - according to China's most brazen case manufacturers, we're looking at a larger screen, curved back and no home button for the iPhone 5 - is that likely at all? We'd have to stay firmly on the fence until Jobs deigns to grace a stage with his presence.