Early last month, we heard some rumors that Apple was looking to quickly follow the iPhone 5 up with a sequel, and might be thinking about preparing the handset for launch sometime in the first half of next year. Since then, we’ve heard some new rumors that suggest, though we might still see a shortened product life cycle, Apple would instead target this so-called iPhone 5S for release sometime closer to the middle of the year. It still might be too early to narrow-down that release window any, but that first rumor also claimed that Apple would start preliminary manufacturing of the iPhone 5S sometime this month. Some newly leaked images just might provide us with the first bit of actual evidence along those lines.
There are a couple reasons to think these pics might be a part from a new iPhone. For one, the model number and FCC ID are all Xed out, as Apple is known to do with prototypes. Furthermore, shots of the inside of this shell reveal some changes when compared to the iPhone 5, with some repositioned screw holes suggesting changes to the phone’s circuitry.
Then again, maybe these are iPhone 5 prototypes from this past summer that didn’t make the cut, rather than something new Apple’s working on. We’ll just have to wait and see if anything else like this ends up surfacing.