You may think you've seen the iPhone 5 fully assembled already, but there could be one more brand new component to unveil - the earbuds. According to reports from Vietnam, Apple's finally overhauling its dated audio equipment.
Those pure white Apple earbuds may have become iconic (as well as a handy 'mug me' sign), but let's be honest here - they're rubbish. One of the first things anyone who values decent sound - not to mention the health of their ears - will do when purchasing a new iPod, iPhone or iPad is scrap the packed in buds for something that forms a better seal and produces better sound.
Could the above picture show that Apple has belatedly identified the weak point in its package? According to Vietnamese site Tinhte, the answer may be yes.
The new buds would appear to stick to the previous set's rigid body design - so no vacuum-forming squishy tips - but adopt a radically different shape. These appear designed to hook into the ear and sit more comfortably in position, with the sound funneled toward the eardrum rather than splurging out in the general direction.
According to the source, these buds are significantly smaller than the previous set, and a fair bit more comfortable to boot. As they point out, having such an integrated component with no flappy extra bits is at least very Apple.
Naturally there's no guarantee that these buds are genuine, but there is a convincing "Designed by Apple in California Assembled in Vietnam" message printed on the cable, and Tinhte does have a positive track record with sourcing genuine Apple components.
With a September 12 iPhone 5 launch widely expected, we shouldn't have too long to wait to find out.