(The following is a guest post from our friends over at International Business Times.)
It’s never too early to speculate about Apple Inc.’s next iPhone, and a slew of new reports this month have suggested the tech giant may release a low-cost smartphone as well as an iPhone 5 successor.
Now, we’re beginning to see photographs of alleged components of what is believed to be two next-generation iPhones.
French news blog nowhereelse.fr — a publisher of credible Apple leaks in the past — has posted photos it claimed to be speaker components of two forthcoming iPhones. An employee somewhere in Apple’s supply chain supposedly took these images, and the French blog reported that these speaker parts will appear in the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6.
The unnamed source allegedly told the blog that the first model, which could be the iPhone 5S, would launch sometime between March and July of this year. The alleged time frame for the second iPhone model, rumored to be called the iPhone 6, is closer to the end of the year. Apple has not spoken about these rumors and has yet to respond to CNET’s request for comment, but we’ll post new information if we learn more.
The reportedly leaked photos do not tell us much about what we might see in the next iPhone, but there is a noticeable difference between the appearances of the two components. One is slightly wider than the other and features two prongs protruding from its side. The discrepancy gives credence to the notion that the components could be destined for use in two different devices.
Although the rumor mill has been churning away when it comes to subsequent iPhone releases, this is one of the first purported images to surface online. It’s also worth noting that the recently leaked photos appear to depict actual components rather than digital renderings.
However, this is not the first time nowhereele.fr posted images of what it claimed to be the next iPhone, as noted by CNET. Last month, the French blog posted photos of a forthcoming iPhone’s purported exterior that appeared to be identical to that of the iPhone 5, although images of the interior depicted some minor differences when it came to the placement of components.
Speculation about Apple’s next smartphone releases began to gain momentum when KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo spoke on the rumored iPhone 5S, as reported by CNET. In a note to investors, Kuo said the 5S would be similar to Apple’s current-generation iPhone, but would come with some worthwhile internal improvements. Rumored features include a speedier A7 chip and a fingerprint sensor, although none of this information has been confirmed.
In any case, these purported iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 models are not to be confused with the rumored, so-called iPhone Math. Little more than a week ago, the China Times published a story referring to the highly rumored low-cost iPhone as the iPhone Math. The term “Math” is likely a mistranslation, but the report has served to intensify rumors that Apple would launch a cheaper iPhone model with a larger 4.7-inch screen. Sources such as DigiTimes and Reuters published stories discussing this rumor, but those reports were mysteriously retracted this month.
More recently, an iLounge report surfaced Friday saying that this alleged cheaper iPhone probably would not be released until next year. Jeremy Horowitz of the Apple-themed blog wrote that this iPhone Math was only an early prototype, and Apple doesn’t plan to release this model during 2013.
As usual, Apple product launches largely remain a mystery until the company wants the public to know about its forthcoming devices. Hype and speculation surrounding Apple’s current-generation iPhone 5 pushed the company to sell 5 million units of its newest smartphone in its first weekend on the market, as reported by USA Today.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter for International Business Times, where this piece original appeared.