Apple won't be making any radical changes to the iPhone with this year's model, if new photos out of China are to be believed. Purporting to show the iPhone 5 and new iPhone 5S' front panels side by side, this apparent leak shows they're almost exactly the same.
Spotted by AppleInsider on a Chinese-based blog called FanaticFone, the images could certainly be fake, or not what they claim to be, but it would be a very elaborate hoax. They're very detailed, high-res, professionally taken photos, and tally with blurrier pics spotted earlier this week by MacRumors.
Assuming they're genuine, they show the same design and measurements on both iPhones. Apple's policy since the 3GS has been to upgrade the innards but leave the chassis pretty much the same for the S model every other year.
The only differences I can see are the length and shape of the screen cable -- the bit sticking out the top above -- which ferries data to and from the screen to the processor, and the plastic bits that clip the screen to the rest of the chassis.
We can speculate that an altered screen cable means an improved resolution, to match the HTC One and Galaxy S4's Full HD 1080p screens, but the iPhone's retina display is already perfectly good and it doesn't seem Apple's style to keep up with the Joneses for no real reason. It may be that new hardware will support higher frame rates, however, which would be of some benefit for movies and games.
It's very early to be seeing leaked hardware -- Apple boss Tim Cook has said we won't be seeing new gadgets until the autumn, but that we should expect surprises. There's been heavy speculation that a cheaper iPhone, possibly in a different size, will make its debut later this year. Whatever new phones and tablets do emerge, they'll be running iOS 7, which should freshen up the familiar devices.
What would you like to see in the iPhone 5S? Will faster chips cut the mustard or are you after something completely new? Let me know in the comments, or on our radically evolving Facebook page.
Image credit: FanaticFone