Is the iPhone 5S Coming?

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Now that supplies of the iPhone 5 look to have been stabilized and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is on target to take the device to 100 countries before the end of the year, there is talk already of the next version of the smartphone. Photographs that show the back panel of an unreleased handset from Apple are making the Internet rounds on Wednesday, though according to Apple Insider, they could just be images of an unused iPhone 5 design.

While the photos, first spotted by French website Nowhereelse.fr on a forum run by iPhone5parts.net, show a component with an outside appearance identical to the iPhone 5, the inside shows a design with slightly differently placed screws. That website claimed they were from a prototype of Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

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As Apple Insider points out, Apple usually maintains the external iPhone design for two years — only changing internal features — before overhauling its appearance. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 were succeeded by the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, respectively, before completely different iterations of the phones arrived. Even if the prototype were real, Apple is not expected to update the handset until late 2013.

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