Images of the front (on the top) and the back (on the bottom) of the “leaked” buttons
TVC-Mall, a China-based electronics parts retailer, now carries and sells what they’re claiming are “Home Button Key Repair Parts for [the] iPhone 5”. Available in both black and white, the proposed next-generation iPhone home buttons are slightly different than the home buttons that are used on current iPhone models.
iPhone 4S home button (via iFixit)
The press-able portion of the “iPhone 5” home buttons appear nearly identical to that of existing home buttons. However, the major change is actually the bit of plastic that surrounds the home button; it appears to be square with curved edges as opposed to the much smaller, circular enclosure that encompasses the home buttons currently used.
The logical function for the new plastic encasing the “leaked iPhone 5” home button is to secure the button by laying just below the surface of the device however, it’s doubtful the change will be noticeable to the end-user. If accurate, the change will strictly provide improved structural support, possibly for a rumored overall design change – the user will still interact with the circular button the same as before.
Even though the proposed “iPhone 5” home button has reportedly been leaked months in advance, if Apple’s gearing up production for the biggest iPhone launch to date (as speculated), it’s possible that the home buttons are being produced ahead of other components and that the ones on TVC-Mall’s site are genuine.
At any rate, stay tuned for full coverage on everything related to the next-generation iPhone.