Citing a unnamed source eager to disclose this information, 9to5mac.com claims to have learned that Apple has select developers working on versions of the company’s iOS apps that take full advantage of the faster hardware.
Seemingly from high-profile gaming studios, these developers have been handed a current-generation handset running the A5 chip found in Apple’s iPad 2.
Basically, it’s not even a prototype unit, but rather an improvisation on behalf of Apple.
They call it the ‘iPhone 4S,’ suggesting it’s pretty much the same kind of hardware upgrade the iPhone underwent when Apple launched the iPhone 3GS.
The device itself is said to be virtually identical to the iPhone 4. No one with physical access to the device can tell it’s not an iPhone 4, based on the external hardware.
The source also said the device has a typical Apple prototype designation in the company’s records, but failed to provide the formal terminology.
During night time, the phone is stored safely in one of Apple’s offices, the source added.
In accordance with this leak, many analysts have shared a belief that Apple will not introduce a completely redesigned handset with the iPhone 5.
Instead, Apple is believed to plan the launch of an upgraded version of the current model, retaining its design particularities.
The screen size may change, some say, but since the 3.5 display takes up most of the phone’s real estate, that would mark a departure from the current form factor.
It remains to be seen whether the A5 chip will be the centerpiece of the iPhone 5 announcement this year, or whether the phone will improve on other key aspects as well, such as the materials it’s made of, the antenna, and others.