But the chassis isn't the only part of the iPhone 5 that's allegedly been leaked. Later in June EtradeSupply struck gold again and came across what they claimed was the front lens for the iPhone 5. This matched up perfectly with the metal chassis and backed up the assertion that the new iPhone would sport a 4-inch screen.
This screen is not as big as some handsets, but it's quite an upgrade from the 3.5-inch screen that Apple has been using on the iPhone for more than five years.
Not only has the screen been made bigger, but the aspect ratio of the screen had been bumped up from the current 3:2 to 16:9 -- the aspect ratio used for widescreen TV and movies. Careful measurements showed that the new lens is 0.9 mm thick, some 0.1 mm thinner than the current lens. This might not seem like much of a change, but it's quite significant when you consider that the current iPhone is only 9.3 mm in its entirety.
The enthusiastic application of keys to the lens also suggests that the new lens is significantly more scratch-resistant than the existing lens that Apple uses on the iPhone.
The new lens also indicates that Apple has rearranged the sensor and camera holes, although until we see the component layout inside the handset, we can't tell why this might have been done.
While looking at the chassis and measuring the lens is interesting, the part of the chassis that attracted the most attention -- and generated the most speculation -- was the diminutive dock connector.
Initially the rumor mill suggested that 11 pins were going to be dropped from the 30-pin dock connector, making the new connector a 19-pin affair and far more svelte and slender than the current offering. Tech site Cult of Mac found that there are indeed 11 pins that could safely be dropped from the current 30-pin connector, including eight that supported the now outdated FireWire and another three that handled video-out functionality for a couple of obsolete iPods.
But things didn't stop there, and there was speculation that the pin count could drop to aspect ratio. These two rumors appear to be linked in that it has been suggested that the male connector -- such as that found on the connector cable -- will have 8-pins on each side, while the female connector -- found on the device -- has only 8 pins on one side. This would allow the iPhone to be connected in either orientation to a male connector or docking port.
And, as you might have now come to expect, photos of both the alleged dock connector port and plug have appeared online. The plug appeared on French website Nowherelse.fr while the connector starred in a video posted by repair firm SmartPhone Medic.
While there's no way of telling for sure if these are genuine parts, the screw holes on the dock connector board seem to line up with holes drilled in the metal chassis.
If this is a fake, it's a very elaborate and highly sophisticated one.
But wait, there's more!
To top it all off, a photo purporting to be an iPhone 5 logic board appeared on Sina.com. This component too matches up with the alleged chassis.
While there's no way for us to be 100 percent certain that these part are genuine until Apple releases the next iPhone and someone -- probably the guys and gals at iFixit -- carry out a teardown of the handset.
If all these parts are fake, then this must qualify as the hoax of the century. On the other hand, if all these hardware leaks are genuine, then there won't be an awful lot for Tim Cook to announce come the September launch.
Maybe he should just take the day off.