Apple Working On a Prototypes With Slide-Out Physical Keyboard

Rumor has it and the report, from claims that Apple is currently working on not one, not two, but three iPhone 5 prototypes.Cherry on the top would be that one of these handsets possesses a slide-out hardware keyboard.

Unfortunately, the original report has been run through a very rough translation, but another point raised is the existence of one prototype closely resembling the current iPhone 4 model. This would be akin to the iPhone 3G/3GS update where the exterior remains identical but the innards receive a slight upgrade with improved battery life, faster CPU and more RAM.

As for claims of a slide-out keyboard, the rumor seems incongruous with Apple’s devotion to multi-touch functionality with on-screen virtual keyboards. Normally, we would simply cast such suggestions aside, but has a strong track record of providing leaked information from Apple’s product pipeline. Most recently, the site posted photos of a small Apple-branded touchscreen that appeared a few months later in the company’s latest iPod nano.

The site also notes several times that these are prototypes, suggesting that the model sporting a slide-out keyboard could simply a design put together by Apple for the purposes of testing out various form factors, and may never be intended for a public release.