The world was finally graced with the iPhone 5’s presence in September of this year after a long wait.
Only three months after the 5’s release, rumored photos of the iPhone 5S are already starting to circulate.
The images, which were leaked on a forum run by iPhone5parts don’t show much more than the exterior casing of the phone, which unsurprisingly looks almost identical to the iPhone 5.
Rumors have been swirling that Apple intends to launch a slightly upgraded iPhone in early 2013, as the firm speeds up its product cycles to compete with Android rivals like Samsung.
A Chinese site in November claimed the firm was set to begin trial production of the new model this month, although has no details of what new features it may contain.
According to the Macrumors, given that the origin of the photos is unknown, it is certainly possible that this part is an old iPhone 5 prototype design that was discarded in favor of the design that was ultimately used.
Alternatively, the part could also be a fake or a knockoff, although at a glance the part seems to show similar levels of quality to that seen on the genuine iPhone 5 part.
The case is extremely similar to that from the iPhone 5, in line with Apple’s pattern of maintaining a given body style for two generations before making more significant modifications. This iPhone 5S part is, however, distinctly different from its iPhone 5 counterpart in several ways.
From the background, it seems that the pictures were taken at the assembly line of an operation stage. The photographer has showed the front and rear side of the housing, which looks very similar to the iPhone 5.
A suspected iPhone 5s houses the specific information below the logo, which are replaced by “X”. Usually, the parts with “X” stand for test prototype. Inside the rear housing, there can found some changes when comparing it with iPhone 5.
First, the “iPhone 5s” has two less screw holes on the left side which are used to fasten the LCD. Second, the position of 3 screw holes used to fasten the logic board has been removed (not sure whether caused by the change of logic board).
EE Times writes, UBM Tech Insights analyst and teardown expert Allan Yogasingam said it was hard to determine how reliable the product leak was, as Apple is notorious for running a tight ship at the design level.
But once products start being prototyped and manufactured, the same level of security does not apply.
“We’ve seen leaks of this nature before, as parts of the iPhone 5 were shown to the public months before the actual handset surfaced,” said Yogasingam.
The Commercial Times estimated that full commercial production of the rumoured iPhone 5S will begin as early as Q1 2013, with the December run only expected to return between 50,000 and 100,000 units, reports the Daily Mail.
‘Facing low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S, the paper revealed, according to DigiTimes.
It comes as Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the last quarter, pushing aside Apple’s iPhone.
Apple has dominated the chart for more than two years, research firm Strategy Analytics said.
It claims Samsung sold 18 million S3 models in the third quarter, compared with iPhone 4S sales of 16.2 million.