The iLounge technology blog reports a source as saying that the much-rumoured iPhone 5 will herald a "significant redesign" of Apple's popular smartphone, largely due to the extra battery life required for support of 4G 'long term evolution' (LTE) services.
Ahead of last month's Apple press conference, in which the iPhone 4S was announced, it was suggested that the rumoured iPhone 5 would have a teardrop design, thicker at the top and tapered to the bottom.
But iLounge's "most reliable source" said that the next-generation iPhone will actually have a metal casing (probably aluminium) around 8mm longer than the current model to accommodate the larger screen.
The source added that the iPhone 5 will be released next summer, tallying with previous reports on the matter.
"[The iPhone 5] is on track to be introduced in summer of 2012, and is still in the engineering phase, not early production," said iLounge.
The third-generation of the iPad, also hotly-tipped for a 2012 release, will reportedly be 0.7mm thicker than previous iPad models to include a twin light bar system.
This is largely because Apple intends to fit the iPad 3 with a display running a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, a massive rise on the current 1024 x 768, and so requiring stronger back-lighting.
Such a resolution would propel the iPad 3 past the latest high-end tablets running Google Android, including the Acer Iconia Tab A700 with a 1920 x 1200 display.
Last month, Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidacaro claimed that Apple's much-anticipated iPad 3 will enter production this quarter ahead of an early 2012 release.
Apple is also thought to be preparing to launch a major refresh of the MacBook Pro line at some point next year, including the axe of the optical drive to give a more slimline profile.