As soon as the iPhone 4S was revealed, many across the industry were frankly shocked because expectations of a radically transformed iPhone 5 did not materialise. The idea that Apple would simply pack in a enhanced hardware and a few special apps into an existing design seemed to be out of sync with Apple’s tradition of launching superbly engineered devices (not saying that the iPhone 4S anything but superb). This idea was further compounded by the fact that this time around, Apple will be facing the most intense competition with from rivals such as HTC and Samsung, which have both released high-end devices that easily outclass the iPhone 4S in terms of hardware. In hindsight, many of the criticisms seemed to have been misguided since the iPhone 4S, with the iOS 5, has become the best selling iPhone ever.

For those with the lingering questions of the iPhone 5, there is now a rumour going around claiming that Apple indeed created an “iPhone 5” prototype with radical design changes, but the idea was killed by Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple. Before reading any further, keep in mind that this is still a rumour and should be read with a bit of skepticism.

According to some sources, the “iPhone 5” prototype was completed months before the eventual launch of the iPhone 4S and featured amongst other things a bigger screen, aluminium back, liquid metal technology (makes it possible to create different coloured phones), no physical home button and an overall thinner and wider design.

 As impressive as all this sounds, Jobs killed the idea because in his mind the device supposedly “fragmented the iPhones.” If this is true at any level then it might raise questions to the overall strategy of iPhones in the years to come. Maybe the iPhone 4S is the end of an era and the next generation of iPhones may adopt a design standard that will last for yet another few years.